By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The Sprague Baseball team came out with all sorts of energy to start the game leading 7-1 on their rival South Salem Monday afternoon at Willamette University after the second inning.
They were patient at the plate, taking advantage of six walks, a hit batter and an error to get on base. Sacrifice Flies from Avery Wilson twice and Eli Lowe brought three runs in. The lone hit came way of a Brandon Stinnett Grand Slam in the second inning that had helped the Olympians build a 7-0 lead after an inning-and-a-half.
Daschel Smith scored off a passed ball in the bottom half of the inning to break the then shutout as momentum was in Sprague’s favor early on.
“It’s huge. Rivalry game and everyone’s a little jacked up for it, so just going out there and putting some runs on them early was really big. Get some momentum on our side,” starts Stinnett, who finished with a game-high 4RBI’s. “I thought towards the middle of the game, I thought we cruised and didn’t put a lot of pressure on them, which we need to work on. But overall, those first few runs were really key.”
South Salem managed to get two more runs after Smith’s pass-ball score in the second with a Gavin Price two-run home run in the fifth to shutter Sprague a little as their lead was down to four at 7-3 going into the sixth inning. The hit was one of four by the ‘home’ Saxons in the 7-3 defeat to Sprague, South Salem outscoring the Olys 3-0 over the final five-and-a-half innings after their slow start to the game.
“Next game I think we’ll come out here, we’ll be a little more calm and a little more relaxed because at the start of the game it kind of hit us. We got a little too comfortable before the game and they came out ready to play,” Price said. “I think next game we’ll come out here because we’ll definitely want to beat them, but we’ll be more focused.”
Grant Strother went six innings, striking out nine for Sprague. Kayden Wagner went five innings in relief for the Sasxons, striking out three in the process with the two squads meeting again Wednesday at Sprague High School at 5pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald