By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– The Post 58 Crushers found a rhythm late in Game one of their doubleheader against the NW Diamond Sports squads Sunday afternoon. Bats came to life, defense settled in behind the pitching of St. Paul-grad TJ Crawford and Kennedy-grad Dylan Kleinschmit in the 8-4 defeat to start the doubleheader at Regis High School
But it was the spark they were looking for heading into Game 2 as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead on the NWDS squad going into the third inning. Outside of a few mental mistakes in the third inning, Stayton’s Wyatt Connally pitched an absolute gem the nearly six-innings the incoming-Eagles Junior with eight strikeouts.
Throwing strikes and getting the ball in play helped Connally had said, but it got interesting the final two-and-two-third-innings as he and his defense held tough to a 5-3 lead before maxing out on his pitch count with two outs in the sixth inning.
“It was great, we played a great game. It was nice to know that there’s guys behind me making plays and stuff, it was good,” Connally said. “I just need to throw more strikes and we swung the bat really well, especially coming up with (teams like) Withnell.”
“Way better, way better than we did in the first game,” adds Silverton’s Carson Waples of the bats. “The first game was a little rough for us defensively. Second game, we picked it up well. “We just got to go out, let our defense play behind us and be a battering wall “
Tyler Pfeifer, Robbie Brockamp, Bryce Campbell and Wapples each had two hits each in the 7-3 victory Sunday. Waples came in for relief of Connally, inheriting a two-base runner jam. It became bases-loaded in his first at-bat in what was a then 5-3 game before Waples picked up an inning-ending strikeout to get out of the jam.
“It was just kind of throwing strikes and letting my defense play. That was my mentality, let them hit it,” Waples said.
Post 58 picked up two runs in the sixth inning, both coming off a Tanner Manning single that added some insurance runs for Waples to shut the door in the top half of the inning to clinch the victory for the Crushers.
Post 58 will be down in Corvallis Monday night for a non-league game with the Marketmen before traveling to Aurora to play the Marion Berries of North Marion High School on Wednesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald