By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Kennedy’s Dylan Kleinschmit showed off why he was a reliable arm for the Trojans this past season Monday afternoon for the Post 58 Crushers.
Going up against some 5A talent, the 2A pitcher matched Corvallis’ Garrett Holpuch’s complete game performance while striking out five in the Crushers 2-1 defeat to the Gerding Marketmen. The game decided the second-seed out of Area-3 as both teams already clinched a spot in Friday’s play-in game in Roseburg to get into the Triple-A 8-team bracket that starts Saturday. The third game was a far-cry from the 12-2 Corvallis win earlier Monday at Regis following Post 58’s 9-5 win Sunday in Corvallis as both teams played playoff defense in their league game finale.
“It shows that we don’t hang our heads after a big loss. We can always be in the game and we can be as good as every other team as long as we go up and play our game, which we did in the second game,” Kleinschmit said. “We knew the winner of this game would be second in the league, so we had to come out and play better than we did in the first game. We just made plays on defense.
“Middle infield and corner outfield, they made some big plays. We came up one run short. We played really well, we battled until the end and it took a good throw to throw him out at home.”
Defense kept the game close and it was defense that won the game for Corvallis down the stretch. Blanchet Catholic’s Spencer Kowalski was walked to started the inning and had worked his way over to second base after a Carson Waples bunt. Kowalski had an opportunity to tie the game up at two with two outs on the board after an outfield single gave the catcher a chance at home from second base.
The throw came in as Kowalski began to slide in, creating a bang-bang play that left Kowalski out at home to seal the one-run victory for the Gerding Marketmen.
“We’re both pretty good defensive teams and they played a little bit better when it mattered today…The difference in the game was that we made four errors and I think they made one. That’s what pretty much cost it,” Kowalski said.
“We just got to take advantage of our opportunities tomorrow (against Eugene) and get our bats ready for the really important game on Friday. We’re going to be playing a good team.”
One of the four errors committed by the Crushers resulted in the go-ahead and eventual game-winner in the fourth inning as Post 58 turns their focus to the Challengers for a nine-inning game Tuesday evening. Eugene will play Mid-Coast at 1pm while Post 58 plays the 10am game in Roseburg.
Silverton’s Tyler Pfeifer had a game-high three hits while going 3-for-4 at the plate. Kyle Kramer pitched the doubleheader opener, going five-and-a-third innings while St. Paul’s TJ Crawford went 2-for-3 with 2RBI’s in the 12-2 defeat.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald