By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– Sprague’s Eli Lowe showed toughness coming down the stretch of the Withnell Dodgers 2-1 defeat to Moundtime to start the Dodgers 50-plus game Summer Schedule this season.
With an out in the top half of the seventh, Lowe took a laser off the bat to his gloved hand that flung his glove from his hand. Only for the Olympian junior to pick up the ball that was drifting towards first and make the out at first.
Adrenaline was pumping for sure for Lowe, but as he picked up his glove and passed the test to continue, Lowe threw two more pitches to end the inning with a groundout.
“It kind of hurt more after the fact, (but) during it I just got my glove back on and just wanted to get out of the inning and get back at hitting. See what we could do with the bats,” Lowe said. “We were down and that was my main focus was to get us back into the dugout and get the bats rolling and see what we could do.”
Lowe was the fourth Dodger pitcher to throw on Opening Day, going two innings and led Withnell with three strikeouts. Sprague’s Grant Strother (an inning), South Salem-grad Tyler Minney (two innings) and West Salem’s Brody McMullen (two innings) all saw action Wednesday as the quartet struck out a combined six batters in the close defeat.
A close game that saw Withnell surrender two first inning runs before settling in for the remainder of the seven-inning contest against Moundtime. Strother got a sac-fly in the bottom half that cut the deficit in half, but Withnell too were hard-hit from a string of good pitching as the Dodgers look to rebound Thursday on the road at Sunset High School when they take on the Beaverton Sockeyes.
“I’m not necessarily disappointed with how this game shoke out. I thought we could’ve played a little bit better, but with the tools I saw today there’s going to be a lot of improvement and I’m happy with the squad that we have this year,” the Olympians Chris Rogers said.
Rogers led the offense with two hits. Sprague’s Brandon Stinnett and South Salem’s Cole Weiland each had a hit in the game at Scio High School. Scio will be their home-away-from-home this Summer as Willamette University puts in turf on their baseball field this Summer that had the Dodgers move home base to the small town south of Salem for the time being.
Withnell will return to Scio High School Saturday for a doubleheader with the Sockeyes and will be at Tigard High School Friday to play the Portland Barbers before taking a day-off on Sunday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald