By Jeremy McDOnald
SCIO, Ore.– The Withnell Dodgers did it again.
After winning the American Legion Triple-A American Legion Area-3 Title last Summer, the Withnell Dodgers picked up the title once more Saturday afternoon following their 11-3 win over the Corvallis Marketmen.
The win however, came in Game 2 of the doubleheader on this day with the State Tournament on the horizon next weekend.
Their opening game went less than ideal, falling to the Marketmen 3-2, but the Salem-based team reset and reloaded for the second game at Scio High School.
“We knew what we had to do, it was a rough (first) game for us to say the least but this (Second) game gives us good momentum going into Monday against them and to finish the series out,” Western Chrstian-grad Rylan Webster said.
Withnell quickly got back into a groove, jumping out to a 6-1 lead going into the third.
Corvallis, being the tough program that they are, didn’t back down as they cut the five-run deficit to two going into the bottom half of the inning. And it seemed like every time that the Marketmen threatened, either the two run inning in the third or the bases loaded situation in the sixth, the Dodgers responded with runs.
Ensuring on their end that they can withstand a run by their opposition if one did occur. All while staying focused and composed on their end.
“It was big. Long day of baseball, doubleheader, it was huge for our guys to stay focused and keep growing the lead and not settle and let them make a run back,” Sprague’s Brandon Stinnett said.
Stinnett and the Olympians Will Hassoun each had three hits. Webster contributed another two hits as eight Withnell players drove in an RBI in the 11-3 win to clinch the League Title and one of the four Automatic Bids to the State Playoffs this next weekend in Roseburg.
For Webster, in his final Summer playing the sport he loves, it means a lot to the former Pioneer baseball player.
“This is my last year on the team, so it feels pretty good and going back-to-back is a pretty cool feeling as well,” Webster said.
But for now, it’s back to work. They got a series finale to worry about and a doubleheader with Lower Columbia on Wednesday on the road to not rest on this one victory that they got.
“We still have a lot of baseball to play here and we have some games scheduled throughout the week, so we can stay in it and be ready for the State Tournament. So we’ll keep our heads in it and be ready to go for next weekend,” Stinnett said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald