Building Momentum For College Ball

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.-  West Salem-grad Brody McMullen had himself a good summer with the Salem Withnell Dodgers going into his freshman year with Linn-Benton Community College.  A Summer of pitching that featured an 89-pitch, nine strikeouts against Fairfield of California in June and had a six-and-a-third innings of work against the Hillsboro Barbers this past Sunday in Roseburg in the Dodgers tough 1-0 defeat in the American Legion Triple-A State Playoffs.

Both games in a successful season for the former Titan arm had helped build confidence for the incoming Roadrunner freshman for the defending NWAC Champions from Albany for whenever McMullen is on the hill pitching.

” It makes me very excited and very confident going into next season,” said McMullen.  “Just throwing hitters off balance having good sequences against certain hitters early and late in the lineups.  It will be pretty important this fall to keep the momentum going, but I’m confident I can do it with the program I’m going into and the group of guys in the pitching staff I’m excited to grow and learn things from.

“I think I did well this season having the defense I had behind me and I improved a lot learning different pitch sequences I can use to get certain hitters out.  It’s huge having that competition going into next year and I’m excited to see how I do going up against those guys next year.”

The Dodgers finished sixth in the Legion State Tournament, falling to both the Barbers and the Sherwood Lobos on the heels of taking their Triple-A American Legion opener against the Emerald Challengers by Sprague’s Chris Rogers 4-3.  The game-winning hit was a single in the contest this past Saturday to help lift Withnell over the 2021 State Champions in the Challengers.

Rogers flashes a smile after his walk-off hit Saturday in Roseburg against the Emerald Challengers in a 4-3, eight-inning victory (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Rogers will be heading to Lynwood, Washington to play baseball at Edmonds College following his first-team all Mountain Valley Conference selection with the Olympians this past season.  The Tritons reached the NWAC Championships Playoffs this past Spring as they went 34-17 overall with Rogers pointing towards the game-load this past Summer in helping the middle infielder in preparing for the game-load at the college level.

“The biggest takeaway from this summer to help prepare me for collegiate baseball was the amount of games we played. It helped me understand that there is always going to be another game to be played. There is also a lot to manage with workouts, eating healthy, and being at the field for long 8 hour days which is how it will be in college,” Rogers starts.  “It will help me ease into the college experience one step at a time. I know what the expectations are going to be from baseball now, so I will just have to combine that with my academic goals.”

And as the American Legion State Tournament drew to a close Wednesday with the Medford Mustangs taking down the Barbers 14-2 in Roseburg, athletes like Rogers and McMullen head back to work.  Either with their new teams in College or back to their prep teams as some of their teammates are awaiting for the next time they get to step onto the diamond.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s