By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Western Christian-grad Owen Stalnaker had himself a Rickey Hendersen-like day for the Post 58 Crushers in the American Legion Triple-A doubleheader against the Columbia Gorge Hustlers Friday afternoon.
Of the eight stolen bases by the Crushers, four belonged to Stalnaker who showcased his speed that helped the Pioneers on the soccer pitch this past Fall.
“I love stealing bases, it’s really fun. It’s one of the best ways to give your team a spark and it takes away a double play here or there. It gets guys in scoring position and just get ahead of ourselves and gives ourselves a better opportunity to get runs,” Stalnaker said.
Runs were hard to come by Friday as Post 58, playing without a few players, were playing with one of the favorites to win the Single-A State Title here in a month at North Marion High School as the Hustlers defeated the Crushers 4-3, 7-2 to close out the week. With how many games Legion plays in a Summer season, day-offs are rare and hard to come by, and with one yesterday and three more ahead it’s a blessing in disguise moving into this next week.
“It was good, we were able to hold them sometimes on defense but we did have some lapses. We’re going to look to tighten that up a little bit, especially when we go to Bend on Tuesday, they’re a good ballclub and we’ll have to have no mistakes there to hang with them,” Stalnaker said. “It’s big, we’re using a lot of arms and our pitchers have been doing an amazing job. Just to keep them healthy is our top priority moving forward for sure.”
Stalnaker finished the doubleheader hitting 3-for-6 with 2RBI’s. Silverton’s Carson Waples and Robbie Brockamp each drove in an RBI, Brockamp struck out five in the second game in five-and-two-third innings pitching.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald