By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.–It went from good, to bad, to worse in a hurry for the Titan Baseball Club Tuesday evening at Holland Youth Park, and the Vaey Baseball Club took full advantage of it in their 13-4 victory.
Entering the seventh inning, each squad had clutch plays at the plate to save runs that held the game up at a 4-3 lead in favor of Valley entering the final inning. The lone difference maker was a Cody Wirth solo shot in the sixth inning that broke a then 3-3 tie on the heels of the Titans three-run third inning where Ben Nagle had a 2RBI double to help lead the rally back.
But it was the seventh inning in which Valley had separated themselves from the squad from West Salem on this summer day.
In an inning, which was hard to pin-point one thing that led to Valley’s nine-run explosion, Valley saw six hits, three walks, two pass balls and a Titan error to snowball their lead from one to ten by innings end.
“There was no one thing that happened that changed it. It was just the little things that we were missing,” said Nagle, who was 1-for-3 with an RBI. “We’re going to comeback and play a doubleheader (Saturday versus Stayton and Central) and we really need to be able to flush it and learn and still not thinking about it while playing because that’s going to make-or-break.
“If we come out playing upset or emotional about what happened today, we won’t be successful and we won’t be successful about that.”
South Salem’s Tyler Minney had came in for relief for Stayton’s Danner Salisbury during the third inning and had corralled the bats of the Titans during the first three innings of his four inning outing Wednesday. Holding the Titans to without a hit until the seventh where it was broken up with an out on the board.
Minney allowed two hits overall and allowed just a run to cross the board in the seventh off a Braden Allison sac-fly, the Saxon pitcher would hold the Titans to that one strong inning in four innings where he struck out five. Giving his offense ample opportunities to eventually regain and grow their lead down the stretch.
“I felt really relaxed because I know I just had to throw strikes. My defense had my back and we’ll be all good,” said Minney. “I felt like today was my day. We were hitting the ball well, which helped us a lot. If we didn’t hit, then we wouldn’t’ve scored the runs. I just felt good today.”
Noah Juarez was 2-for-2 for the Titans. Cameron Louie drove in 4RBI’s on 2-for-4 hitting for Valley Wednesday. West Albany’s Chase Reynolds drove in 3RBI’s and had a home run during the seventh inning rally for a Valley squad who will play the Bandits of Stayton Thursday night at 5pm back at Holland.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald