By Jeremy McDonald
EUGENE, Ore.– It’s been roughly an year-and-a-half since Central’s Joey Cole has pitched. But with three pitches into his 22-pitch outing Monday evening, the Panther catcher and first-baseman got the Post 20 Dirtbags out of a jam against a stacked Utah Marshall team to close out an Independence Day doubleheader at North Eugene High School.
“Oh yeah it was pretty nice. I was out there trying to throw strikes. I did for the most part,” Cole said.
In the background, the fireworks were beginning to wake up for the night. Motors, Firecrackers and an occasional Bottle Rocket popped off away from the field of play. It’s not too often that you get to play a game on the Fourth Of July, it’s very The Sandlot like almost.
“It was pretty cool. Not too many teams are playing on the Fourth of July so it was pretty cool,” Cole said.
“Oh it’s great. It’s better than sitting at home, it’s good coming out here with your buddies on a nice Summer Day and playing the game that we all love,” adds McMinnville’s Braden Woods.
It wasn’t an easy task though on this special Independence Day with the Dirtbags playing the Emerald Challengers prior to the game with the Marshalls. Just the little things separated Post 20 from their opposition, but served as a good test for them preparing for their three-game Area-3 test with the Withnell Dodgers this week.
“It was huge, we saw some great arms. We had opportunities to make plays in the field and I think we’re ready for Withnell,” “We can’t afford to have any errors. We got to have some great defense behind our pitcher and that starts with throwing strikes. That’s how we’re going to win games”
Woods 3-for-7 with an RBI. McKay’s Carlo Cervantes also contributed three hits in the doubleheader. West Salem’s Joel Spencer and Jeremiah Pinkerton each drove in 2RBI’s for the Dirtbags.
Game one of the three-game series with the Dodgers start Wednesday in Scio, first-pitch is at 5pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald