By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Kennedy’s Dylan Kleinschmit has been on a tear his freshman year at Chemeketa Community College.
Coming into this Spring, the 2021 Trojan graduate was slotted to be a reliever for the Storm. His first two appearances were in relief before picking up his first start March 18 against the JV team from Corban.
He won the start and Kleinschmit slowly worked his way into the starting rotation and got the start in the fourth and final game against Clackamas in their four-game NWAC South Region series. Sitting with a 5-1 record entering the contest.
“At the start, I wasn’t expecting to play a lot. In the Fall I was slotted to be a reliever. I started at Corban and threw well and earned my starting spot, that surprised me,” Kleinschmit said. “I took it and ran with it. Today, it was what I got.
“They saw my best and the guys played great defense. Mitch (Richwine) threw a guy out at home in the sixth hole, and we came ready to play today. We’re a fairly young team. A lot of guys are coming back next year, so if we can finish the year strongly then it’ll carry on into the Summer wheither guys are playing in the Wild Wild West League or Legion and into next year.”
When the two squads met Friday in Oregon City, it wasn’t the result they wanted. Going down two games to none in the series following the 3-1 and 9-8 games to the Cougars, but Chemeketa answered with a 4-3 win in Game 3 on Sunday.
Game 4 saw Kleinschmit go the distance. Throwing a complete game, seven inning game with four strikeouts and only allowing two hits for his sixth win of the season in the shutout effort.
South Salem’s Greyson Hanowell, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader alongside Grants Pass’ Andrew Eide’s 2-for-3 Game 3, following it up with a 1-for-2 with an RBI in the series finale. The 2020 Saxon-grad caught both games Sunday behind the dish.
“Today I think we let go some of the pressure of fitting a mold and playing a certain way. So we just kind of let it go. I challenged the guys at the beginning of the day…’Find your little league self where you just want to beat someone and just have fun’,” Hanowell said. “I think that’s what showed up today and everything just ended up clicking.”
It’ll hopefully be momentum entering their next two series with Clark College and Linn-Benton Community College to close out the season.
For Hanowell, he admits that their series with LBCC on May 12 (in Salem) and May 14 (in Albany) will be sedimental for him being his final games playing baseball as his playing career draws to a close.
“It’s huge. I don’t know. I don’t really have words,” Hanowell said trying to describe what’s ahead. “(Baseball) has been apart of my life for so long. I don’t know, it’s a good group to go out with.”
But for now, it’s on to Clark Thursday on the road. Eide and KeShawn Robinson from Screven County High School in Sylvania, Georgia joins Hanowell with three hits apiece in the doubleheader wins Sunday.
The next home game for the Storm will be May 7 when the Penguins come to Salem for a 1pm and 4pm doubleheader.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald