By Jeremy McDonald
DAYTON, Ore.– Yes, you have ready the headline right. The Scio Loggers baseball team have found themselves 6-1 on the season following their 5-3 victory over Dayton on the road Tuesday afternoon.
For context. The Loggers won six games total in 2019. Both were and are the most win totals since Scio’s 15-11 season in 2016.
The Loggers had built a three-run lead on the Pirates going into the bottom half of the fifth inning. Runs driven by Garrett Young, Dustin Erickson and Reid Otto in the first, third and fifth had the scoreboard at Dayton reading like a computer code from The Matrix with the Pirates Kaden Fergus and his defense keeping the Loggers from hanging a crooked number on the scoreboard.
Fergus, who pitched five innings with seven strikeouts, called the game one of the best games they’ve played so far as they eventually drew even with Scio entering the sixth inning in a 3-3 ballgame.
“It sucks not being able to get over the hump, but that was probably one of our best games pitching, we still did pretty well hitting,” Fergus starts. “I thought it was a good game. Hard battle and both teams play great.”
For the Loggers, what was a promising start to the game with Blake Brown pitching five-innings with six strikeouts of his own. Having a few opportunities to add to their lead as they were on the verge of flushing out their 10-0 defeat against Yamhill-Carlton on Friday in the past, errors hurt and added unnecessary pressure on themselves coming down the stretch.
Brown pointed towards practice will help them. Getting those reps as he hit a sacrifice fly, scoring a run in the sixth to hand back Scio the lead. Young pushed the lead back to two with an RBI single before Dayton’s Kyle Trautman halted the Loggers run at two.
“Just more practice I think and getting more reps for our guys and having a little more energy while we’re playing,” Brown said with Scio leading 5-3. “(The sixth inning) was big, it was huge. That really separated us. It got our energy back for the rest of the game so we can close it out. It really got our minds back into the game and not on them catching up to us.”
Toby Mask came in to pitch in the bottom half of the sixth after catching the first four innings of the game. Mask stayed calm and composed with his natural tame persona, his slower pitches was a change-of-pace of Brown’s speed, looking as good as he was over the Summer in the Willamette Valley Men’s Baseball League High School-division.
Striking out four of seven batters for the save and just building off the energy created during that top half of the sixth inning. Giving the squad momentum going into Friday’s doubleheader with the inspiration of not having a copy of this past Friday against Yamhill-Carlton.
“It’s really cool scoring that inning because it gave us momentum going into that sixth inning,” Mask said. “I was doing good, Blake threw good. Five innings, made those throws look easy and let me come in and finish them off. (This win) is pretty big, we really had lost focus that last game (at YC). This one gave us momentum going into Friday, hopefully we have a better outcome.”
The Pirates also have some momentum going into the doubleheader. Their pitching was there Tuesday, now it’s just a matter of getting the bats caught up with their defense. Working on every detail they can in preparation in trying to comeback and take the three-game series from Scio on their home turf.
“We definitely need to work on our hitting more, as every team could. We can always improve more on our fielding,” “Our outfield did a really good job today, I’m really happy with what they did. Pitching could always improve on that. Hitting so we can put up more runs.”
Game 1 in Scio Friday starts at 3pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald