By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Regis’ Mason Koenig and Byron Bishop did all they could to help lead the young Rams baseball team at the end of their first week of the Spring shortened-season Saturday afternoon against East Linn Christian.
Koenig drove in the first two runs of the game as Regis built a 2-0 lead off a single and a sacrifice hit entering the sixth inning while Bishop had a five-inning no-hitter going with 11-strikeouts. Bishop moved to third base in the sixth to save on pitches to help Regis entering this upcoming week.
Stepping up considering the leaders they’ve lost coming out of the last time they’ve stepped onto the diamond.
“Since we lost some big leaders last year after not having last year, we had a big role to fill with a few big leaders,” Koenig said. “Me, Byron and the Tristan’s (McMullen and Klascius), they really help us with that role. It’s a really big deal that we do that.”
Noah Koenig, Cody Ditter, Josh Blish and Tim Cowell contributed hits in the 5-3 defeat, but the Rams couldn’t string them together to add to their lead.
Errors with baserunning and on defense did hurt, coming around to hurt them in the top half of the sixth inning where the Eagles spotted Regis three runs. Putting Regis in a 3-2 deficit entering the bottom half of the inning.
But the Rams stayed positive. Loading up the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning, tying the game up at three thanks to Cole Vogel scoring off an error fielding a Noah Koenig fly-out.
“The one thing we do really well is staying positive and not letting too much go to our heads,” Bishop starts off his young team. “You can see, we’re starting to do a better job of being more optimistic like ‘ok, we can bounce back’. We’re doing a good job staying composed and ‘ok we’ll go to the next one’
“We did that at Lowell (Thursday), we were down a couple of runs and had a ten-run inning at Lowell. They do a good job keeping their heads up and just bouncing back.”
And despite spotting another two runs in the top half of the seventh, staying composed and positive will be big this upcoming week with they host Central Linn (Monday), Jefferson (Wednesday) before traveling to Monroe to play the Dragons on Friday.
On the field, it’s a matter of sharpening up the little things that hurt them against the Red Devils and East Linn Christian Academy the last two games as they prepare for the three of the biggest tests of their young season coming up.
“I think that’ll be very big for us. It’s game changing almost, we can clean up the smaller things and it can be game changing. If we come next week and we play hard, clean up the little things…us having a good mindset allows us to have a good chance of being really good. It gives us a good chance,” Bishop said.
“I think cleaning up the little mistakes, our approach at-bat I think we can be unstoppable,” adds Koenig. “Bu t before we can figure that out, we need to strengthen that and we’ll be in a better spot.”
Vogel and Ditter, who came in with two outs in the sixth, each had a strikeout in the game.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald