By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– It’s easier to pitch when you have the lead, the cushion makes a defense comfortable in their efforts to sustain that lead during an intense game.
The Olympians of Sprague hung a four—spot on the Showtime 18U squad Monday night at Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Stadium in the top half of the inning against West Salem’s Brody McMullen.
McMullen’s older brother, Brock, was stunned by their strong start as the older McMullen, Brett Hassoun, Chris Rogers and Jackson Muth all drove in runs before Hassoun even took to the bump in the bottom half of the inning.
“I don’t think we’ve scored four runs in the first inning, but we made it happen. We just got to bring it over to tomorrow and just keep swinging, winning games,” said McMullen. “When we score four in the first inning, it’s pretty easy to pitch because you’re pitching with the lead.
“We kept that lead the whole game. Everyone kept pitching with the lead, pitching to contact. Defense were making plays in the field and came out with the dub.”
Hassoun dueled with McMullen, holding Showtime to a Jarred Seibel single in the third as his offense pushed their lead to 6-0 entering the fourth. A score off an error and an RBI single from Dayton Walker were the difference in the top half of the third of the Olys.
Hassoun had struck out five in four innings of work, paving the way for Jacob Jones and Rory Lampe to split the fifth inning, Broderick Stanaway pitched the sixth to close out the 6-3 win. The Sprague defense held strong around their four arms, holding Showtime to three hits with two of their runs coming from a steal and a pass ball during the contest.
“Us pitchers, we are pitching to contact. Knowing that we have a solid infield, outfield behind us and solid catcher behind the plate, it’s really good,” said Hassoun. “It was a fun game, and when you’re having fun…you find a way to play very well. We had that tonight, all through the lineup we scored six runs off two very good pitchers and having that momentum throughout the game is very helpful,”
Hassoun and Jackson Hildenbrand each went 2-for-4 in the game as the Olympians collected seven hits in the game.
It’ll literally be a marathon for the Olympians this week with Monday being just game one of a possible six they could be playing in when Friday draws to an end with them playing the NW Stars Eagles Tuesday night at 7pm back at Volcanoes.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald