By Jeremy McDonald
BEAVERTON, Ore.– Sprague did all they could to keep Jesuit in check. Doing so pretty well against a Crusaders squad looking to reach their third 6A State Finals since 2016 by season’s end as the Olympians held Jesuit to four runs on seven hits in the 4-0 contest on the road Monday evening.
The outfield was challenged as Taylor Brenneman and Henry Mhoon were constantly flying around making outs. The infield, anchored by Brandon Stinnett and company, kept those rare infield ground balls in check. It was those occasional walks and timely hits that got a run here, a run there, across the plate for the Crusaders to spoil such a defensive performance by Sprague on the road.
“We knew what we were going up against, it was very tough. Our outfield and our infield really stepped up, they put a lot of balls in play out in the outfield, but we got really good athletic guys out there. I thought we just did our thing out there, no fly zone,” smiles Mhoon. “Just getting in good games before Arizona will really benefit us.”
Jesuit was just one of three games-in-a-row for the Olys as they’ll head to Beaverton Tuesday before hosting Wilsonville Wednesday going into their Arizona Spring Break Tournament next week in Arizona. And with Monday’s game, timely hits were hard to come by against Nobel Meyer. Mhoon was the first Sprague batter to get a hit off of the Jesuit senior in the third inning, Brady Stoops was the other in the sixth before Meyer bowed out of the game with 14 strikeouts in six innings of work for the Crusaders.
But through all that, with momentum against them, Sprague rose once more with the bats. Loading up the bases with no outs in the seventh against Cooper Loomis, forcing Jesuit to go to the bullpen once more. The Olympians struggled to continue the two-hit, one-walk rally they were on as back-to-back strikeouts and a fly-out ended the game; but despite that it showed Sprague where they’re at now four games in and where they can go moving forward.
“Just more reps and staying at it, keep grinding. I thought we did a pretty good job competing out there, we just didn’t have any timely hits. But keep at it and the hits will come,” “It’ll really help us. (Meyer) is going to be a Major League pitcher here pretty soon. It’s pretty cool and see, going into league, some velo like that and more so for a playoff run. That’ll be good because you got to beat the best to win, it should help us a lot.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald