By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– The little things added up for Stayton and went against Cascade Thursday afternoon in Stayton.
The Eagles aggressive playing style took some time, trusting the process, waiting for the moment in which it would have paid off in their 14-hit, 6-2 victory to start the season for both teams. Scoring five of their six runs over the course of the fifth and sixth innings.
“Connor (Hollenbeck) was pitching a great game and we decided to keep playing defense, trust the process and started to put runs on the board and the rest kind of took care of itself,” said Stayton’s Danner Salisbury.
Hollenbeck, who along with Salisbury led the offense with three hits each, struck out nine in five innings pitched. But across the way Caleb Boyles and his defense bent in allowing the hits, but didn’t break in terms of runs coming across the board.
For four-and-two-thirds that Boyles pitched, the only thing that hurt the Cougs was themselves. The lone Stayton run that scored came off a pass ball that allowed Jared Jungwirth to score from third-base on in the second inning.
“Errors here and there and they were overall hitting better than us,” Boyles starts. “Even when we were getting outs, they were hard-hit balls. I think this will be one of the better teams we’ll play in the league and I think it was a big eye-opener for the guys hitting wise. We just got to get back at it.”
Just gotta make the routine plays Boyles pointed out. Fly-balls, ground-balls, plays normally made they need to do for their doubleheader against Sweet Home Friday in Turner.
Cascade had a glimmer offensively in the top half of the sixth inning, David Kanoff and Grayson Reeder got on base only to be brought home from Boyles on the at-bat following Reeder’s single that got the game to 3-2. Jace Korkow, during Reeder’s single, nearly beat the throw that could have resulted in the game being tied going into the bottom half of the sixth inning.
“It was our first game in two years for a lot of the guys so it’s just knocking the dust off. That will wear off as the season goes along, we just got to get more aggressive at the plate for sure,” Boyles said, going 2-for-3 with 2RBI’s on the day and three strikeouts pitching.
Stayton timed out Cascade reliever Lupe Peralta for three runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Kaden Prien had an RBI single and Salisbury drove in Prien and Hollenbeck, pushing the lead to 6-2. Salisbury came in for relief of Cody Leming as the closer, shutting the door on the Cougars before they could make one last push for the lead.
“Yeah it felt great, first game out. Come out and secure the ‘W’ It was everything we needed to do coming back after not getting to play last year, just exactly what we needed,” Salisbury said. “We’re just going to try to carry momentum over and energy up, play like we play. Stick to our plan.”
Stayton travels to the coast to play Newport at 3pm and 5pm. Cascade’s doubleheader also starts at 3pm and 5pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald