By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– The young Willamina Bulldog baseball team rose to the occasion Sunday afternoon against the top-ranked and undefeated Reedsport Brave squad at the Volcanoes Spring Break Tournament in Keizer.
Through the first two innings, with Rhyne Nelson on the bump, the Bulldogs held the high-powered bats of Reedsport to two runs total and held them in check with nine going into the fifth inning before fatigue began to sink in for the squad in their 17-0 defeat to the Brave. Those live reps that Willamina have been receiving so far have been beneficial as they’re looking to string just enough innings for a complete game and possibly a win at the end of the day.
“I think we did really well. I went into it thinking we were going to get our butts handed to us because they beat Gaston 22-0 and Gaston beat us, but we went out there and played really well,” Nelson said. “These are good for getting the tougher teams out of the way so we can play better against teams at our level..”
Nelson is one of the returners for the Bulldogs, having been a three-year Varsity player now as a junior and embracing now the opportunity to be a leader of the squad this Spring.
“It’s been kind of a blessing actually. We’ve never had a JV team and I was put on Varsity as a freshman. Played second (base) as a freshman and been playing First (base) and pitching, it’s been really good,” Nelson said.
Willamina will be back at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer Monday morning to complete their game with Oakridge at 11:30am. The game was called with the game tied at six in the second inning with the Bulldogs having bases loaded, the game will pick up from there when it resumes Monday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald