By Jeremy McDonald
SPRINGFIELD, Ore.– Four games in four days is a daughting task to ask at any point in the season. But, as in Sprague’s case, it helps going into the fourth game having played 15 innings combined in their previous three.
But nonetheless the seven inning game they played Saturday night, their third in six games to start the season, was a welcomed sign coming out of the Springfield Spring Break Tournament.
Their offense remained the same as they’ve seen during their now five-game winning streak, defense came through to hold off Aloha in the Tournament Championship Game. Holding a scrappy Warriors team to one run in the 6-1 victory to wrap up the long Spring Break week that was for both teams.
“I have to tip my hat to Grant (Strother) he threw us a great game tonight and kept us in it the whole time. Our energy in our dugout was up the whole game as well, the bats were staying alive,” Brandon Stinnett said. “Aloha is a great ball club, and we happen to end up on top. We played an all-around great game and hats off to Stros.”
Strother came out from behind the dish and took to the mound. Will Hassoun caught in replace for Strother, who pitched a complete game on 74 pitches. 54 of those pitches were strikes as the junior finished with six strikeouts to four hits in the Championship Win.
“It keeps your defense in it. We’re getting first pitch strikes, getting ahead and getting a couple fly-balls. Strikeouts are nice, but if you can get one-two pitch per batter you get through the game a lot quicker and keep your defense in it. That was the goal tonight and it worked out,” Strother said.
Sprague’s defense held Aloha to four total hits and Strother only surrendered one walk in the game with the squad heading to Barrick Field Tuesday to play North Salem. First pitch of that game is at 5pm before the Olympians return home Wednesday against Scappoose and again Friday against Grant.
Stinnett led the offense in the RBI category Saturday with three, Wyatt Connally led the team with three hits. Chris Rogers drove in 2RBI’s himself behind Stinnett in the line-up of the six Sprague hits, five were extra bases. Two doubles, both by Rogers. And three triples, one each by Taylor Brenneman, Stinnett and Strother.
And though the Olys bats have been matching their tradition of strong pitching and defense, Sprague’s outscoring their opponents 54-4 since their 4-3 loss to Roseburg on March 14, they got to stay focus and in the moment with another big week ahead of them.
“We got to keep our heads down and keep grinding, not to let them get too big and do our thing,” Stinnett said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald