By Jeremy McDonald
HAPPY VALLEY, Ore.– The Central Baseball team left Happy Valley and Nelson High School a little happier after their 12-11, eight inning, walk-off win over Glencoe Saturday afternoon. Wrapping up the four-game series in three days with a 3-1 record.
Coming off of Friday’s tough 19-2 defeat to Canby, the Panthers could’ve sulked over their first defeat of the season for sure, but they decided to go another direction as they rose to the occasion the following morning against the Crimson Tide. Mentally, and physically, staying with it through the fatigue of the last game of the week as they entered the seventh inning with an 11-10 lead.
“It was huge. After last night, we have to overcome somethings…but we came through and got the win,” Joey Cole said. “It really shows what we’re made of. We really stuck together as a team. We did what we needed to do. Got people off the bench, everyone stepping up.”
Cole led the Panther offense with a three-run home run and drove in 5RBI’s on three hits Saturday. Mo Garcia, who also pitched the final three innings of no-hit baseball and struck out three in his relief appearance, drove in 2RBI’s on two hits as well.
But Garcia and company were challenged there in the seventh to close out the game with Glencoe loading up the bases with no outs. A run would score, but thanks to a double play and a dropped third strike turned out kept the Tide from turning against them.
“It was tough. It was a tough loss, this game was early and it was tough too. We were in the right spot mentally and it was good, we came out with the win. We proved that we’re really good. Just practice like we play, take it easy for a bit and get back at it,” said Isaiah Sanchez..
Sanchez would prove to be the hero of the day as neither team could break the 11-11 gridlock in the bottom half of the seventh and top half of the eighth. But thanks to a Carlo Cervantes single and a steal at second, Sanchez drove him in off a line drive to right field to close out the 12-11 game in extras.
“It was a really good win, it was close the whole game. We battled and came out with the win,” Sanchez said of the win.
Cervantes also collected three hits in the victory while Sanchez collected two hits Saturday. Diego Richards led Glencoe with three hits and James Kingsbury drove in a team-high 3RBI’s for the Crimson Tide.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald