By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– Blanchet showcased their bat strength and basepath speed in their 11-1 2A/1A Special District 3 series opening win over Regis Tuesday afternoon at Regis High School. The Cavaliers offense produced ten hits and forced the Rams to commit an unusual five errors in the process to hand Regis a rare lopsided defeat.
Capping the win for Blanchet with a six-run seventh inning that turned a then 5-1 game into a ten-run margin going into the bottom half of the inning moving into Friday’s doubleheader back in Salem.
“First pitcher, we made him throw a lot of pitches and we put the ball in play, they made some errors. We got them out and we got a lot of hits there in the last inning, got a lot of runs,” starts the Cavs Drew Bartels. “Mentality we got to stay mentally locked in. I don’t think we’re going to beat that team again by ten runs again, so we just gotta stay locked in the whole game. Just ready every pitch and not taking a lot of strikes, ready on D all the time. Always locked in all the time.”
Bartels went the distance for Blanchet, striking out 17 to give his offense a chance to build up an initial 5-0 lead going into the bottom half of the sixth inning. Limiting the Rams to their damage in the sixth inning where they got two base runners on and seeing Luke Castillo driving in a run off a Sacrifice Fly to break up the shutout before settling back down to close out the game on the bump.
“As a team we played really well…I was just ready to compete and we had to be ready from the first inning. I wanted the ball and I was ready,” Bartels said. “We got a doubleheader on Friday, so it’s really important to save arms.”
Max Eaton got the start for the Rams in his first full game back from injury, going five innings with seven strikeouts before handing things off to Isaiah Koehnke to close out the contest. Haden Gough went 3-for-3 for the Rams, who will use practice Wednesday and their game against Santiam Thursday as good reps in preparation for Friday’s doubleheader as they’ll look to try to win the three-game series on the road.
“We can work on getting better timing at the plate. Definitely catching fly-balls, myself included, I dropped one that hit my hands. I should’ve had it. As a team, if we can touch it up, talk more in the field, in the dugout and just timing out their pitching. (Bartels) was throwing high-70’s, we couldn’t time him up. So if we can work on that, I think going into Friday against them and even Thursday against (Santiam’s) pitching and time that up, we’ll do pretty well,” Gough said.
Carson McNally led the Cavs offense with 3RBI’s on 2-for-4 hitting. Tyson Smith led Blanchet with three hits and contributed 2RBI’s. Mitch Wort also drove in 2RBI’s for the Cavaliers in the win. Game 2 and 3 of the series will start at 2pm Friday at Blanchet Catholic School.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald