By Jeremy McDonald
MOUNT ANGEL, Ore.– Culver brought the fight to Kennedy’s doorstep Wednesday evening in Mount Angel throughout the three-game series with the Trojans, but more importantly that third and final game of the trilogy of games. Sure the Trojans took game one 2-0 and pulled away for the 8-2 win in game two victory. Game three however, the Bulldogs rose off the mat and were looking for some momentum with the regular season coming to an end in the coming days.
Patient they were at the plate. The ‘Dogs Brayden Macy kept Kennedy off their toes and off-balanced, building a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the third inning in their 8-3 victory over the Trojans. Culver knew how important this game was for themselves as a team. They, coming into the series, wanted a win against Kennedy and had a Golden Opportunity right in front of them.
“It was a very important game for us. We came in, lost at home. We came in (today), lost the first game. Our goal this series was to get at least get one game and we came out and did that. It was a blast to be a part of it,” Macy said, who went six innings with seven strikeouts. “We were solid defensively, something we’ve been struggling a little bit throughout the season. Our bats caught fire and we started getting hits.”
Kennedy was able to get on the board in the bottom half of the third though. Thanks in part to a Riley Cantu single and a double from Andrew Cuff that drew the Trojans within two of Culver going into the fourth inning. Luke Beyer came in for relief of Cantu in the third inning and held the Bulldogs scoreless through the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Going toe-to-toe with Macy who, along with his defense, weren’t giving any signs of handing anything easy over to them.
“Props to (Macy), definitely hard to time up. But just got to take the ball to the right side on pitchers like that. So just got to time it a little bit better and when we see better pitching like that, we got to jump on that real quick,” Cuff said.
Kennedy had their golden opportunity to possibly do further damage on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the sixth with runners on first and third base with no outs, but couldn’t capitalize on it with Culver adding four insurance runs in the top half of the seventh to all but seal the victory. Kennedy got a third run across home before the conclusion of the game off of Charlie Beyer grounding into a Fielder’s Choice with them having non-league games with Santiam Christian and Monroe this upcoming week.
“It’s definitely good to get some more AB’s and get ready for the playoffs. Just adjusting our plate approaches too, where we can get base knocks. We got a good defense, got good pitching and got good defense behind our pitching and we’ll be good for the playoffs to see those two teams,” Cuff said.
Culver will have a make-up game with Colton to wrap up their regular season as they look to avoid a lull from their win over the Trojans.
“Just got to keep this momentum that we’ve built going forward, continue practicing hard and get ready for State Playoffs,” said Macy.
Cuff went the distance pitching in Game 1 of the doubleheader, striking out seven while going 5-for-7 with 4rbis in the two games. Luke Beyer and Ethan Kleinschmit each had three hits. Gabe Wilson struck out five in five-and-two-third innings in Wednesday’s doubleheader opener. Houston Wittenburg drove in 4RBI’s in the series finale in the second game of the doubleheader.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald