By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– If the Stayton Eagles baseball team can get onto the diamond this Spring, they’ll have some solid arms on the hill to help guide them.
Wyatt Connally and Danner Salisbury have shown those starter innings over the summer with Cody Leming, Ty Borde and company right behind them. Connally, known by the nickname of ‘Freddy’ from his middle name, had gone five innings with ten strikeouts and Leming added another five with eight strikeouts as the Eagles finished the Oregon Fall League, associated with the Salem Baseball Academy, 6-4 overall.
“It was nice to get to see everybody and see what we have for next year and stuff,” said Leming. “We have the incoming freshman too, so we have to see what they’re doing and hopefully our stuff can stay good. Keep throwing strikes.”
Leming threw 17-strikeouts in 14 innings this Fall as four Eagle pitchers pitched at least ten innings and eight threw at least an inning-and-a-third over the ten-game stretch from September into this past weekend.
The biggest thing for them would be tempo moving into the Spring. With how few games that are expected, every win and loss matter more than ever.
“Tempo, you got to keep having it so in the Spring you can keep it rolling and keep getting stuff done. Keep getting ‘W’s’ especially with this upcoming season being short,” starts Connally. “A loss is pretty big and a win is big too. Just got to keep rolling and keep having tempo throughout Winter and get better through Spring.”
Stayton picked up two wins over the SBA-Green squad, 8-4 and 8-3 respectively. The Green squad pressured the pitchers to stay within themselves on the basepaths with nine stolen bases in the doubleheader in Stayton.
“One thing I’ve been really big on is that they’re trying to get inside my head, so I really had to focus on ‘hey for my team here, we got to start throwing strikes and not all getting into my head. Trying to get into our heads’,” said Leming.
With all the arms that they have, a benefit at any classification, it’s a matter of stringing the hits together. Though they collected 16 runs on 16 hits, they need to be able to consistently do such moving into the Spring.
Thanks to the indoor hitting barn in-between the baseball and football fields, the Eagles can turn to that as the weather turns into the traditional Pacific Northwest Winter to improve and pick up some momentum for the two-month season ahead in May into June. Working on the finer things like scoring a guy in scoring position
“Just know the situation. Like coach was saying, with a guy on second, we need to score that (run),” said Connally, who was 1-for-2 with 2RBI’s hitting Saturday. “But with (the shed), we can be in that all Winter long. Rain-or-shine getting cuts and improving.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald