By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Rebounding from a 13-7 defeat is hard in a doubleheader in the baseball world. Six runs are tough, but for Sprague under the ‘Olys’-tag in the Salem Baseball Academy Fall Ball League they held the strong bats of the Lumberjacks to one run entering the sixth inning.
Brett Hassoun, one of the two older kids on a roster featuring a strong sophomore class in the Olympian Baseball program, got the start against the Portland-area baseball club Sunday afternoon in the doubleheader finale.
Hassoun pitched the first three innings of the game while hitting the 2RBI double for the Olys, which proved to be the different entering the bottom of the sixth as the torch led the Lumberjacks 2-1, before handing off to Grant Strother for the fourth inning.
“If you want to be the best, you got to play the best and you got to beat the best. Especially for these younger guys coming out playing against some of the best guys in Portland,” said Hassoun, who struck out six on the bump. “It’s a great experience and it shows them what great baseball is like. I we’ve hung in there with them until the sixth inning.
“So just showing them like what good quality baseball is and what good quality habits are. It’s just going to improve and make us improve.”
Strother continued where Hassoun left off. Adding five strikeouts of his own while letting his defense work the few opportunities, they had Sunday after at Blanchet Catholic.
“We just had to find the zone and we couldn’t in the first game. Find the zone, keep our defense in it. No more walks and I felt like we did that for the most part,” said Strother. “We were much more in the zone. Getting ahead on batters than we did in the first game.”
In the sixth however, whether it was fatigue or perfect timing by the ‘Jacks, the home squad rallied the troops to take a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning. Holding off the young Olys from a possible late game rally to continue the game.
Overall, coming off of two weeks off and knocking off the rust, the doubleheader Sunday was a good starting point for the Olympians moving forward into the rest of Fall Ball.
“We’ve had a two week break here because of the smoke and stuff so I feel like that first game we were knocking the rust off. That second game was where we should be and we’re just going to be getting better from there,” said Strother. “This was a quality game; some things didn’t go our way at the end of the game. But that’s a really quality team.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald