By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– When Central’s Isaac White came in for relief for Brandon Komes in the fourth inning, the Panthers had just cut into the Stayton Bandits 3-0 lead. Getting a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third to break Jared Mitchell’s shutout bid going into the back-half of the game.
The Bandits had the hits, but the Panthers were just as scrappy as they went to their bullpen in hopes to slow down the bats of Stayton for even the possibility of a comeback in their 5-4 victory at Thursday’s game at Holland Park.
“Yeah I was just trying to focus on keeping my mind honest and focus one objective at a time. Just trying to not get in my own head,” smiled White, who splits time with Central’s squad and the pool teams that play Monday’s and Friday’s.
White pitched three innings, allowing four hits and a run. The run, an RBI Single by Regis’ Joe Alley, gave the Bandits a 4-2 cushion entering the seventh. Alley, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, joined Tanner Manning, Caleb Boyles and Will Ramos as Stayton Bandits with two hits apiece.
The bats, though they finished with 12 hits in the game, had cooled off over the final five innings of the eight-inning battle after their seven-hit, three-run output over the opening three innings of the game. And though the bats cooled, Jared Mitchell and Lupe Peralta kept the scrappy Central bats at bay for much of the game.
“The talk in the infield was really good. Great job by our pitchers, Lupe Peralta and Jared Mitchell did a great job. Especially in those tight situations, they really clutched up,” said Alley. “They did a really good job locking it down.”
Peralta, who’s entering his Junior year at Blanchet Catholic, despite seeing the Panthers draw even with him and his Bandit teams in the bottom of the seventh following a Ruben Cedillo double, hung tough and kept Central to that tying hit and to force extra’s.
“I think he did a great job. You have those great hitters that you have to work around and I feel like he challenged them really well. Lupe did a great job going after them, letting his defense work and really trusting his pitches.” Alley said of Peralta.
“We got to finish. It’s tough when you come out that strongly like that and you think you have it, you get comfortable with it. We got to finish ballgames.”
Brody Cain came in for relief for White in the seventh inning. Continuing the defensive mojo stemming from White into the final inning of regulation and into the extra frame where Central made their move.
Malachi McCormick singled with one out, advances to third on Cain’s bunt attempt and Peralta error at first. Peralta struck out Seth White and was an out away from giving Stayton another crack at the win when a wild pitch scored McCormick from third for the winning run.
“It was great, it was awesome. It was a good win,” said White, who struck out three in three innings.
Komes struck out four in his three innings, Cedillo finished 1-for-3 with a game-high 3RBI’s and the lone extra-base hit for the Panthers.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald