By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– The Olympian Baseball Club-Saints 7-5 game Wednesday afternoon made you question if you were taking crazy pills like Jacobim Mugatu from Zoolander at Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Stadium.
The psychedelic game didn’t have it’s first hit until the 22nd batter of the contest when Sprague’s Andrew Rogers saw his perfect game-bid broken up with an out in the top half of the fourth inning. The Saints would score a run in each of the fourth and the fifth innings with Saints’ pitcher James Nelson sustained his no-hit bid into the bottom of the fourth when Chris Rogers broke up the bid with an two-out single.
The game was chirpy with it’s physical intensity. Playoff baseball as the Saints tried to tame the Olys bats that had scored 17 runs the previous two days.
For Sprague however, just as you think you got them down the runway of defeat, they find a way to scrap back and surprise you. Loading up the bases with the bases loaded leading into a pass-ball that scored the rare two runs that had tie the game up.
“The first four innings went quick for us. We weren’t really getting up or anything, hitting the ball or anything. But I think we stayed up and stayed alive,” said Andrew Rogers, who struck out four in six innings pitching. “No one put their heads down and then we broke out . We had a break-out inning and then everyone came together.
“After that I think the rest told itself and we got a dub.”
Rogers helped his case, ripping the go-ahead RBI single to hand the Olympians a 3-2 lead in an inning in which the Boys from the Berm hung up a six-spot on the jumbotron. Rogers, who went 2-for-3 on the day at the plate, and Camden McGath had the lone two hits that brought in runs during the inning, McGath’s was also of the RBI Single variety.
Sprague only collected four hits in the game and their two errors hurt, but as the younger Rogers brought in the seventh run of the game drawing from a bases loaded walk, the 7-2 lead going into the seventh seemed safe pickings for the Olys third win of the tournament.
But the Saints too turned an about face on their own runway of defeat, driving in three runs off of Jackson Hildebrand to scramble Sprague with one out on the board and hanging onto a 7-5 lead with the tying run coming to the plate.
Enter Rory Lampe.
Lampe came in for Hildebrand in the pressure situation and in his first at-bat saw Chris Rogers making a run saving dive for the put-out at first for the safe out instead of trying for third base where the runner was heading entering the possible last out.
“The play before (the final out), the batter before, Chris had a really nice diving play to save a run and that really picked up my energy. That made me feel really confident that everyone got my back,” Lampe said of the out. “That’s a good pick me up, dude’s making great plays and I’ll throw it wherever, they’ll get it for me.”
Lampe found himself down 3-1 in the count in the final at-bat of the game and slowly worked his way back into the count with a low strike and then coming back for the strikeout to end the game, sealing the 7-5 win for the Olympians.
“I think I got down 2-1, I took a breath and settled down and got back into my rhythm. The last pitch I forced a fastball and just chuck it,” said Lampe. “I normally throw a two-seamer and I threw a four-seamer and let’s have some fun and see how far he can hit it.”
Sprague wraps up pool play action Thursday evening at 7:30pm against Aloha and currently are sitting 3-0 in pool play action.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald