Hooper Walks It Off For Stayton In 2-1 Victory

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

STAYTON, Ore.–  Stayton held strong in their Wednesday game against Sweet Home, hanging strong in their 2-1 win over the Huskies.

Both teams traded runs in the second inning.  Sweet Home striking first with a bases-loaded walk before Conner Choate’s RBI single in the bottom of the inning knotted it up at one.

The Eagles Cody Leming and the Huskies Russell Holly led their defenses through the rain delay that slowed the game down a bit.  The rain was tough, but the two Oregon West Conference squads held strong physically in keeping the game at one and mentally by staying within themselves.

But nothing was as tough as the seventh inning though for both teams. 

Sweet Home got two on base, Lewis Conn (single) and Hunter Ashby (Hit by pitch), with two outs on the board.  Initially they were on first and second before a pass-ball advanced the duo over a base.

“I could tell that it had us on the edge of our seats, but I think we did a really good job not letting the jitters get to us and playing through it,” Ty Borde said.

“We just had to believe and stay strong to our fundamentals in the game and just come through,” adds Wyatt Hooper.

Hollenbeck delivers a pitch as the Stayton senior struck out one in the inning he pitched Wednesday in Stayton (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Relief pitcher Connor Hollenbeck had a 1-1 count on Kaden Zajic when the pass ball occurred.  But the senior pitcher forced Zajic to foul off the next two pitches before striking out the junior to end the threat.

For Borde and Hooper, they became the heroes of the game to seal the 2-1 win.  With the offense struggling to find their groove, a major thing Stayton hopes comes back around with the expectations to get on the basepaths often for Thursday’s game at Sweet Home, Borde led-off the bottom of the seventh with a single.

The junior stole second before advancing to third following an error on the throw-out attempt at second to give the Eagles an opportunity to walk away victorious.

“I was just trying to set-up my teammates to let them get me in and they did a great job.  Wyatt did a great job getting me in,” Borde said.

Hooper had a 1-0 count on him when Borde made his advance, but quickly saw it become a 1-2 count.  But Hooper stayed within himself as he got himself to a 3-2 count with two-straight balls and a foul-ball before putting it in play.

“First off, it was a little nerve-racking.  I just tried ot stay cool and really tried to do a solid for my team and just help us,”  Hooper said of the At-Bat. 

Hooper flew-out, but it was just far enough into the outfield to give Borde enough time to tag-up and come home to hand the Eagles their seventh-straight win and 13th win in their last 14 games.  The series takes a trip down to Sweet Home Thursday for a 4:30pm first pitch.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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