By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Cue the ‘Finally’ meme from Spongebob Squarepants because the bats have awoken from their slumber from their last few games. Their offense, which produced 15 runs on 12 hits in their doubleheader sweep of the Hawaii 18U travel team of Oahu, Hawaii, backed up strong performances by Lupe Peralta (Cascade), Gaven Lyon (Santiam) and Tanner Manning (Regis) in their 7-4, 8-7 wins Friday afternoon.
“It was great. Our pitching was great, so we finally needed some offense to get us over that little hump after the 3-2, 2-1 games. We finally got all the hits strung together, it was awesome to see all of it come together for us,” Carson Waples said.
Waples drove in the game-winning hit, an RBI single, in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Western Christian’s Owen Stalnaker to cap a rather gutsy win for the Crushers.
Post 58 used Peralta’s complete Game and then scored six of the games final runs to build momentum into the second game of the doubleheader against the Hawaii 18U squad. Lyons got the start as the Wolverines-grad settled in after a tough first inning to see the Crushers build a 6-2 lead going into the fourth inning.
“It was definitely really big,” Lyon said of the Game 1 momentum. “We needed to do something to get the wheels moving for that second game, we knew we needed something to amp us up going into that second game. That really helped, our clutching ability really came out in that last game and in the first game, we finally came through.”
Lyons went four-and-a-third-innings, striking out three before handing it over to Manning for the final stretch. But the Kalani Hawaii squad were making their rally. Behind Koki Hayashi at shortstop, making the transition to the position recently, their defense limited Post 58 behind Hayashi’s athleticism on the left side of the infield to allow his offense to eventually pull even with the Crushers going into the seventh tied at seven.
“Towards the end of the game, we kept pulling the ball towards that guy. Our goal in the AB was to put it in right field and we did that a few times which was great,” Waples said of adjusting to Hayashi.
But it gave Post 58 another opportunity to ‘clutch up’ as Head Coach Kyle Baker said to his team following the win. Something that they did as they got Stalnaker and Robbie Brockamp (Silverton) on base with one out leading into Waples At-Bat. With the 0-1 count Waples sent a double into center that brought Stalnaker home for the game-winning run to cap the 8-7 victory.
“It was great. The bats were finally coming together. They were a great team, so we needed to lock in and not to try too much and just put the ball in play,” Waples said.
The Crushers will host the Emerald Challengers for a doubleheader Saturday at Regis High School. First pitch is at 3pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald