By Jeremy McDonald
ROSEBURG, Ore.—Grant Strother is going to be a dude for the Sprague Baseball team this next Spring as a Junior.
All the reps over the Spring and Summer led to this critical point in the Withnell Dodger season. Facing elimination against the Springfield Timbers Sunday morning, Strother entered the game in place of Broderick Stanaway faced with the task of cooling the bats of the Timbers down enough for his offense to do work in the 6-5 walk-off win.
“It’s been great, I’ve gotten a ton of reps. I feel really confident on the mound, I feel like I can go against anybody and you’d need that confidence as a pitcher. I feel like I can go out there and throw pitchers so it’s been great,” Strother said.
Strother, after taking over in the top half of the fourth inning with one out used six pitches to get out of the jam. The incoming Junior turned three-straight innings of shutout baseball, including a sixth inning that saw him hurl three pitches for the one-, two-, three-inning.
“Survive and Advance. You lose that first game it makes it really easy for you: You Can’t Lose One. Just take it one game-at-a-time and every game is a wild card game,” Strother said.
Strother went three-and-two-third innings with three strikeouts, facing 14 batters in the process.
The bats came around after a slow-start to the tournament. Getting after Springfield for 13 hits with three coming in the final inning for the win.
The Olympians Eli Lowe and Western Christian’s Rylan Webster go on base. But back-to-back outs dampered the Dodgers changes even though they advanced Jack Muth, who was pinch-running for Webster, to second base with Lowe at third with two outs.
Nerves were there for Sprague’s Taylor Brenneman as he took strike one.
“It was a pretty clutch situation when I got up. I was all nervous but I did my part and get that run in to win the game,” Brenneman said.
Brenneman sent a chopping groundball towards third base as it was picked up and thrown to first. It looked like Major League almost as Lowe scored and Muth was behind him with Brenneman beating the throw at first for the win.
Now it’s just a waiting game to see who will lose the 4pm game between Medford and the Barbers from the Metro area.
“We got to fix somethings up, one-game-at-a-time and win the next one,” Brenneman said.
Stanaway struck out two in three-and-a-third innings. Webster led the offensive charge with three hits, Brenneman led the team with 2RBI’s on two hits. Lowe and Chris Rogers each had two hits in the win.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald