By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The combo-squad of North Salem/McKay had came out focused. Ready to play from the get-go against Silverton Wednesday afternoon at Barrick City Park.
Jackson Pearce was on a rail pitch against the Foxes, striking out five through the first 11 outs. Going toe-to-toe with Silverton’s Carson Waples with the Vikings once holding a 1-0 lead going into the fourth inning thanks to a Dillion Brady RBI single back in the first inning.
“I felt really good at the start of the game, towards the end I just got into my own head and wasn’t hitting my spots and we weren’t as competitive as they were,” Pearce starts, going five innings with six strikeouts. “We are a young team and we’re getting better every game. We just need to figure out how to fight at the beginning and fight at the end as well.”
The Foxes needed a spark, finding it in the fourth inning when Kyle Kramer’s two-out double set up Robert Brockamp to drive him home to tie the game up at one before North Salem/McKay got out of the jam.
The following inning, Silverton collected the lead when they plated three runs and would go on to score in the sixth and seventh. Adding insurance runs as their defense with Waples on the bump kept the Viks from mounting a rally in the 7-2 Foxes road victory.
“We were just talking…we just need to hop on earlier and focus on getting the hits out early, getting on base, moving everyone around. That spark really helped us a lot moving forward, the spark was really Robby and it just kept going from there, he got his hit and everyone after that just fell through,” Kramer said.
Those runs gave Waples a sense of relief going back out there to pitch in his complete game, seven strikeout performance. Turning pressure of the early one-run deficit, tied the ballgame into more of a relaxed approach seeing the lead grow to six going into the bottom half of the seventh inning.
“Oh man after the first three-or-four innings I was like, ‘man we going to need a run on the board’. Then Kyle and a couple of other guys came through with some big knocks so that helped a lot,” Waples said. “Once we got a few runs on the board it kind of helped me relax and I just threw strikes, got them out and let my defense play behind me. The guys felt really good, we came together at the end and got a great ‘W’.”
North Salem/McKay got a seventh rally going as Corbin Torres brought home the Vikings second run of the game, but the co-op team couldn’t plate more onto the scoreboard. North Salem/McKay will play host to Dallas Friday back at Barrick while the Foxes are home against McNary Friday afternoon.
Both games are at 5pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald