By Jeremy McDonald
MCMINNVILLE, Ore.– With how crummy the weather was Friday evening, pitching by both Sprague and South Salem Baseball were spot on as the two Salem schools traveled to Linfield University to play their Mountain Valley Conference game.
The Saxons’ Carter Nelson went the distance, striking out three while allowing four hits compared to the nine strikeouts that Grant Strother threw in five innings before Quinn Altman came in for relief. Getting the save down the stretch as the Olympians managed to get one run home in their 1-0 victory.
“Tip my hat to Carter, he had a helluva game. He was a lot more efficient than me and he was able to stay in the game longer than me,” laughed Strother on the game. “But it was just finding the zone and get out batters. It was just filling it up and let the defense work, they didn’t have to work as much as they usually do but they were there when I needed them.”
“It was a pretty big deal, (Sprague’s) a good team and I think we’re coming around well. We played defense really well again today and saved some hits from being hits,” Nelson adds.
Sprague managed to get one across the plate despite the strong defense in the bottom of the fourth inning. The run coming from a Hayden Laudette RBI hit proved to be the difference as each team’s defenses hang tough.
For South Salem, they’ve been slowly piecing it together. Now it’s just a matter of stringing hits together to plate some runs, all while finding some consistency coming down the stretch as they’ll travel to West Salem on Tuesday.
“We’ve been moving up and up all season, I think we need to put together some htis and this team will come around,” Nelson said. “It’ll be very important. We’ve been able to do it in some games and it’s just trying to find some consistency with it.” Nelson said.
As for the Olys, the win helps them keep pace with Summit and Bend who each currently have two league losses.going into their next home game against McNary on Tuesday.
“It keeps us up there with the top (half) of league. It’s one-game-at-a-time right now. i believe we have five games left and four of them are league. So each game, we gotta play it like it’s the last game of the year and keep doing our thing and winning games and hopefully find ourselves on the top of league when it’s all said and done,” Strother said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald