By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Plays were made Tuesday evening at Holland Youth Park that could land themselves on Sportscenter Top 10.
From the Stayton Bandit’s Wyatt Connally’s line-out and tag out at first for a double play, to Valley’s Ricky Alvarado’s two-run home run in Valley’s 3-0 win, the roughly 90-minute game was as fun as it was entertaining.
“It was a fun game, it would be funnier if we won,” laughed Bandits and Regis-grad Jackson Nees. “But it was still a fun game to play. Players made plays on both teams.”
“It was a lot of fun, we played really well today and it was just a blast overall,” adds Valley and Stayton High School’s Danner Salisbury.
Salisbury fanned six in five innings and only allowed three Bandit hits. The Valley offense challenged the outfield of the Bandits. Of the 21 batters, ten sent a ball to the outer reaches of the field with five resulting in outs.
Nees had one of the outs, in a diving slide to rob Valley of a hit as the Stayton outfield, limiting Valley to finding a gap as Jacob Winstead did in the bottom of the fifth inning for Valley’s third-run of the game or Alvarado’s home run in the fourth inning.
“We knew we were going to be challenged with all the hitters that they had, so our outfield just kind of stepped it up. We know we can do it, it was just executed and get the plays that we can and we ended up getting those plays,” said Nees, who went 1-for-2 in the game hitting. “We missed a few out there. Balls that we were like, ‘ok, they’re hard hit. There’s nothing we can do about them’.
“We stepped up to the plate and challenged them.”
For Alvarado, a pitcher-only, mentioned too that they had to respect the speed the Bandits had as Valley couldn’t string their seven hits together for much more than three runs on two crucial hits by the speedsters in the outfield.
“They’re fast guys just getting the ball rolling was pretty crucial though in us winning the game,” said Alvarado. “(The home run) was kind of the world actually, that was really fun to hit and fun to watch. But it really does boost moral at the end of the day to hit one early.”
Alvarado pitched the sixth and Tyler Minney closed out the game in the seventh. The two South Salem pitchers combined for two hitless innings with a combined three strikeouts.
Lupe Peralta and Caleb Boyles combined for three strikeouts themselves for Stayton as Connally and Bryce Campbell joined Nees as the lone Bandits to collect a hit Tuesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald