By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s been a long time coming for Withnell to bring home the Area-3 District Title, but they finally did it. Sweeping their Marion Bridge rival in the Post 20 Dirtbags in their three-game series the past two days, defeating the Dirtbags 10-0 and 13-2 in the process Thursday at Willamette University.
“It’s been in the making for a little while now, it was super nice to get it,” smiled Rylan Webster. “We don’t have to worry about play-in games. It feels super nice.”
“We only played ten innings today, so it was great to save pitching. We have a week now and we’re going to State, I feel like we’re playing our best baseball. Just gotta keep riding this and see what happens,” Grant Strother adds.
Strother and Brandon Reed pitched the ten innings, Strother struck out six to Reed’s four.
The Dodgers jumped on Central’s Brandon Komes and Dayton’s Kaden Fergus in Game 2 of the series. The Panthers Malachi McCormick and the defense held Withnell however to two runs in the opening two innings as Post 20 found themselves even at two-apiece going into the Bottom of the third inning.
“We came out with a fire, it was good. We came out wanting to win,” McCormick said. “It was pretty nice to come out and compete. We feel like we have a chance to compete with these guys, I always feel like we have a chance to beat anyone and this one I felt like we could’ve taken it.”
The Dodgers had found their Game 2 groove however, scoring eight runs in the third inning and forced the Dirtbags into two errors with six hits to complete their first league sweep of the season.
“It’s super nice getting the sweep going into the playoffs now. It gives us a ton of momentum and it helps us keep going and going,” Webster said. “One hit just followed the other. We just broke it open and kept on rolling.”
Webster drove in 4RBIs in Game 3. Strother struck out six in five innings. Will Merritt drove in the lone RBI for the Dirtbags as they’ll play the Mid-Coast Dungies to close out the league season.
Withnell travels to Sherwood Friday before playing two down in Eugene against the Challengers on Saturday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald