By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– The pressure was on North Marion Thursday evening at Bob Brack Field at North Marion High School. The tying run was ninety-feet away, go-ahead run was 180-feet from home when Dawson Schrenk came in for relief of Will Van Vlek in what would end up being a 3-2 Huskie win three pitches later.
North Marion racked up double-digits hits in the win, but it was a far-cry from their ten runs from the night before or seven runs on Monday. But nonetheless the defense came to play as Van Vleck was more like Van Helsing, hunting down Ranger batters and holding them to just a baserunner on error until the sixth inning. Striking out seven batters in his sixth-and-two-third innings of work.
“It was important because if we started off great in the beginning, hitters won’t do as good. The more positive things we do, it makes it better for the rest of the team,” Van Vleck said. “It got pretty intense towards the end. They started to come back and got a few hits, the little plays at the end were important.”
“The bats weren’t there, but we made plays defensively too and that’s how we got through it today,” adds Hunter Hansen. “We found out today that it’s a game of baseball and not every game we’re going to put up a lot of runs, but we just got to get back to the drawing board tomorrow at practice and keep grinding it out. Learn how to have a little more fight with us and I think we’ll do better in a game like this.”
Hansen scored the first two runs for North Marion, a RBI single in the first inning and a RBI double in the third inning. Rex De’Angeles, coming off a complete game victory pitching Wednesday, stole two bases as the Huskies showed off an aggressive style of play. Stealing a total of four bases on five attempts in the game.
The game was a good bridge game. Good tune-up for Gladstone this upcoming week with the Gladiators also undefeated sitting 5-0 with the Huskies taking the three-game series in 2019 two games to one.
“We just got to stay focused and stay positive, make the routine plays. Every play is important, to beat them you got to make them,” Van Vleck said.
Estacada got a lead-off single in the top half of the sixth, but the Huskie defense recovered. Van Vleck followed it up with a strikeout, and despite giving up the lone sixth inning run North Marion didn’t break.
Emilio Estrada drove in a run in the bottom half of the sixth and the Huskies needed it with the Rangers jumping on the fatigued arm of Van Vleck. Getting a run across and runners in position for the tie and/or the lead late when Schrenk came in.
And after getting a strike and giving up a ball, Schrenk forced a ground-out to end the game and saved the victory for North Marion who now turned their focus onto the next one.
“It was a really tough game against Estacada, we just came through and threw strikes and our defense helped us,” Schrenk. “We just got to keep the same effort (against Gladstone), strive a little more in hitting and let our defense do all the things that we do.”
The Huskies will host Gladstone Monday at 4:30pm before traveling to Gladstone Wednesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald