By Jeremy McDonald
AURORA, Ore.– North Marion’s Will VanVleck started his complete game performance a tad shaky against Newport Thursday night, but settled down after a slow start as him and his Huskie defense held the Cubs to two runs in the 8-2 Oregon West Conference victory. Focusing on the positive through those negative moments as he found some consistency, keeping his pitch count down as he was at 48 after four innings and finished the game with 84 pitches to go with seven strikeouts on the day.
“I struggled a little bit in the first part of the game, but I just stayed focused and tuned off the negatives and not worry about any of the bad. Just stay focused and have a positive mindset, go out there and pound the zone,” Van Vleck said. “I think I did pretty good staying focused and not worried about it and just flushing it…not thinking about what had just happened and doing it again.”
It was a nice bounce-back win for the Huskies, who fell to Newport Wednesday on the road 4-3, as they turned a brief 1-0 deficit going into the bottom of the first inning into a 6-1 lead going into the fifth inning. Their defense looked like prestient North Marion defense. Their offense was aggressive, eventually tallying ten stolen bases to go with nine hits and taking advantage of four Cub errors to build momentum and string things together to close out the three-game series.
With a big series coming up with Stayton next week, this was a good confidence booster getting ready for an Eagles squad that has yet to be defeated in league play.
“It was super important for us to get this win, we’ve been struggling having some enthusiasm throughout the game. We can’t have that rollercoaster, you gotta have it consistent. For me, I had to set the mindset on one at-bat at a time, one day at a time and one pitch at a time. Just not worrying about the future and focusing more on right now and that really helped me. Our coach talked to us about that and I think it helped a few of the guys today,” Landon Fowler said.
Fowler led the offense with 2-for-2 hitting with 2RBI’s. VanVleck and Will Stafford each collected two hits and Dawson Schrenk drove in 2RBI’s as well in the win
“We came out with energy today. Yesterday was a bad game, but we knew we had to forget about it and come out with energy and have fun,” VanVleck said. “You got to think about the little goals and everything comes into play, eventually get to the end goal and focus on one-day-at-a-time, keep the energy and we should be good.”
Ethan Bruns was 4-for-4 for the Cubs, who will enter a three-game series with Philomath starting on Monday in Philomath.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald