By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– “I don’t know man. It was crazy,” said Regis freshman Tanner Lawson following his walk-off home run Tuesday night against East Linn Christian.
It was a good test of mental toughness and overcoming adversity for the Rams as they embarked on their three-game series with the Eagles this week. Regis led 1-0 after Noah Koenig took home off an error. East Linn answered with two runs in the fourth before Kollin Schumacher tied things up in the bottom half of the fifth.
But as Grant Medford tied things up in the top half of the seventh on a sac-fly that brought Cole King home, the pressure was slowly building on the Rams to execute. Regis ended the seventh by foiling a steal attempt at third and Luke Castillo picking up one of his two strikeouts in the two innings he pitched.
“Sometimes, as players (We) have to step-up and we didn in the seventh inning,” Koenig said. “It was a battle. They threw some punches and we took some punches, threw some back and we came out on top.”
Koenig went 2-for-2 on the day as Castillo and Schumacher combined for a three-hitter over the course of the seven innings the Rams were on defense.
But after Regis’ Cody Ditter popped out to start the inning, Tristen McMullen singled. Then Head Coach Kyle Baker sent in Lawson as a pinch-hitter.with Koenig in the on-deck circle. The freshman took a ball first pitch before fouling the next. Ball two came and he took strike two before he was faced with a full-count after the next pitch was called ball.
“I never lost hope that…never letting down moral and keeping positive and good things happen,” Lawson said of the game going into his at-bat.
The kid stayed within himself as he made contact and sent a deep fly-ball to left. And as the East Linn Christian left fielder pulled up at the fence, the ball didn’t as the freshman nearly lapped McMullen coming around third and was tackled by an excited Koenig after touching home-plate that helped the Rams improve to 16-6 overall and 13-2 in league play.
“It’s great. We just got to stay humble and make sure we’re humble and don’t get into our heads too much,” Koenig said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald