By Jeremy McDonald
MEDFORD, Ore.– The Withnell Dodgers closed out their five-game Medford roadstand with some positive momentum going into their Area-3 league series with Newport.
Coming off of four tough games in the Coach K Memorial Tournament this past weekend, the Salem-based squad were looking to end on a high-note following how those first four games began. The result, a four-run first inning Sunday morning at North Medford High School that was followed by a strong start to the game defensively.
“We got a four-spot in the first and the bats were hot straight out of the gate. That really set the tone for the rest of the game and brought some energy for our dugout and our players,” Eli Lowe said. “We had a shaky spot in the middle and then picked it back up towards the end of the game.
“I think that at the end of the game, a little run of the three-spot really shut the door and I think that really kept us in the game the whole time and got us the win.”
Lowe pitched an inning-and-two-thirds Sunday, coming in for Grant Strother who started the game and pitched an inning-and-two-third innings. Lowe, Strother and Will Hassoun, who closed the game, all pitched roughly 25 pitches while Rylan Webster saw the bulk of the pitches at 54 as Withnell began to piece it back together.
With several players gone on vacation, the Dodgers saw kids like Avery Wilson step up to fill the voids in the meantime.
“We definitely had to have a few guys step up and fill spots and I think we did a good job of coming in and doing their job,” Wilson said. “I felt good about today. This weekend, I struggled to hit the ball a little bit but today I felt pretty good and hopefully I can continue that into the rest of the season.”
Wilson went 2-for-3 with 2RBI’s. Wilson and Bradon Stinnett each drove in 2RBI’s in the win.
The Aces of Las Vegas beane to chip away at the four-run deficit however during the middle part of the game, eventually pulling to within two of the Dodgers down 4-2 with runners in scoring position in the sixth. Webster shut down the threat before handing the reins to Hassoun to close the game as the Withnell offense produced a Stinnett 2RBI single before Hassoun drove in another in the next at-bat to give the Dodgers a cushion going into the seventh.
Hassoun struck out two in his inning he threw with the quartet of pitchers striking out a total of seven batters in the 7-3 victory in Medford.
“The beginning of the weekend was quite rough. Started it off falling to Idaho (Falls) and we just kept going down and I think it was the most important that we ended on the highest note going into the week with a couple of league games,” Lowe starts. “We just tried to hunker down and focus in and to end it on a high-note.”
Withnell will host the Mid-Coast Dungies of Newport Tuesday in Scio for a doubleheader before heading to Newport Wednesday for a single-game at Newport High School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald