By Jeremy McDonald
ROSEBURG, Ore.– It was a heartbreaking way to end their incredible season.
It’s hard to imagine at the start of the season to see the Post 58 Crushers at the one-game Play-in game Friday night in Roseburg in a league with traditional powers like the Withnell Dodgers, Corvallis Gerding Marketmen and the Post 20 Dirtbags.
But the Canyon Boys made sure this year was different as they went on a pseudo-Cinderella journey with the only kryptonite being injury as the season wrapped up the past two, three-weeks.
“Oh it was awesome. A few years ago it felt like tight and so much pressure, this (year’s) team we’re so loose and ready to play. Here to play baseball, here to play the game and it was so much fun to see guys ready to go playing loose and ready to play,” said St. Paul and Crusher-returnee TJ Crawford.
Post 58 came out firing. Silverton’s Tyler Pfeifer had two shutout innings to start and the Crushers plated four second inning runs to hold a 4-0 lead going into the bottom half of the third inning. Having the Beaverton Sockeyes going to their bullpen early in the game to try to slow down their effort.
And even though the Sockeyes rallied and eventually tied the game at five going into the sixth inning, the Crushers held tough. Both teams were looking to clinch a spot against American Legion Triple-A juggernaut Medford Saturday night as it came down to the final inning.
“It started off really good. We came out completely ready to go from the start of the game and I think that continued throughout the game, but little things can get to you really easily and we can’t let that happen,” Cody Leming said.
Leming led the offense with 2RBI’s as Pfeifer struck out three as he went the distance in the 6-5 defeat.
“We did pretty well in this game and just kept the energy up. Mentally we just stayed with it, it was a do-or-die game and we just had to keep playing,” Pfeifer said. “We really focused in and pushed through it there to stay in the game.”
Beaverton had some timely hits to set up runners on the corners, first-and-third base, with no outs as Gage Lee drove in the decisive run to draw the game to an end in the bottom half of the seventh inning. Sending the Sockeyes to the bracket and ending a great season by the Post 58 prematurely.
“It was kind of cool being out here. For all the teams that were going to expect us to just roll over, but we came out and competed with every team out here. I think without the injuries, that would’ve been a whole different story and it would be great to have everyone healthy and see where everyone would be this year.
“But I guess we’ll save that for next summer. I don’t think we’ll be the punching bag.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald