By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– All it took were two hits to decide the game in between West Salem and Silverton Friday evening in the Titans 8-3 victory.
The hits, a two-run home run by Crosby Albee in the fifth and a three-run double by Ben Nagle in the sixth inning that had separated the Titans and Foxes from a close 3-2 game into the eventual 8-3 final. Helping to hand West Salem their third-straight win of the season.
“It was definitely a game changer,” Albee said, who went 4-for-4 with 4RBI’s. “When we started off, we didn’t have much energy. We weren’t hitting the ball very well, just scattering it around. But I felt like that changed the pace of the game, it gave us the momentum so it felt good.”
“It’s just kind of that insurance. It’s just a piece of mind at the end,” Nagle adds. “You get Cros’ big blast, that’s just momentum going into defense that helped to get a one, two, three and out. So, I think that was big for us.”
The little things had added up against the Foxes. Errors damaged a promising start by Tyler Pfeifer, who struck out six in five-and-a-third innings. Flashes are there as Silverton is slowly gelling together coming off their 12-2 win over South Salem in Silverton back on Wednesday.
“I thought we had a really solid job on the mound today, Tyler went out there and he was pretty solid. He didn’t allow too many freebies, (but) we didn’t have his back too well. We had three errors in one inning,” said Cole Mucken, who went 3-for-3 with 3RBI’s in the game. “After that, we cleaned it up. If we played like we did against South Salem, it’ll be a different game. We’ve been trying to figure it out as a team and we’re starting to click the more games we play.
“I think it’ll come together probably next week I think we’ll be on top.”
Brody McMullen got the start for the Titans, striking out eight in five innings with his defense holding Silverton’s bats at bay. Mucken drove two in the third and another in the sixth that had kept the Foxes within striking distance down 5-3 entering the bottom of the fifth inning.
There’s an old saying that goes ‘do your job’. West Salem wasn’t aiming for the fences for the home run or a bases-clearing double that eventually came to fruition Friday, they just happened by coincidence with the Titans working as one.
“It was huge. Brody came out and he pitched probably one of the best games he’s ever pitched. Infielders made plays; outfielders made plays when they needed to have them. So, we weren’t thinking about that one hit, we’re just thinking about what we can do in the moment and do their job,” Nagle said.
Nagle went 3-for-4 with 3RBI’s with West turning to John Olson in the sixth and BJ Amador in the seventh to finish off the victory. The Titans travel to Dallas Monday while Silverton travels to Barrick Field to play North Salem/McKay on Wednesday afternoon.
Nicolas Pardo and Andrew Kaatz collected a hit in the victory.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald