By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Cue any ‘Back From The Dead’ memes that are out there and you can think of because that’s what South Salem had done Friday evening against their rival in Sprague. Closing out the Central Valley Conference series with a larger than life comeback probably of the year, coming back from an eight-run deficit to win it all by game’s end.
It started to to be, on what seemed to be a cursed home field for the Saxons to this point two games in with the struggles that the home team South Salem squad has had up through the fifth inning at Willamette University as they trailed Sprague 8-0 going into the bottom half of the inning. Slowly however, the Saxons began to chip away at the deficit.
Four run inning in the bottom half of the fifth inning gave the Saxons some pip in their step. Shutout sixth inning and three more runs followed going into the seventh. Now it’s a 8-7 ball game. The once struggling South Salem team that had all the luck against them were back in the game, challenging their South Salem adversaries like it was part of some weird plan.
“It’s what we do, we stay in ball games. We stay in ball games and we hit the baseball, get guys around and score runs. Taking it one-pitch at a time is huge for us,” Braedy Vogt said. “This was huge. I’ve never beaten Sprague before in my whole High School career. Come out here to win the series is huge.
“I got to give it to my guys out there. It was all heart. It was a game that we knew that we needed to win all season and we came out and we did it.”
Vogt would play the Hero come games end, but to get to that point, they had to complete the comeback.
The nerves were there for the Olys as they tacked on two runs in the top half of the seventh to rebuild a three-run lead up 10-7 as they went back to work looking to win the Central Valley Conference series in the third game after the two squads split the two games prior.
“We knew they could hit, they’re a good hitting ball-club. We knew we needed more than a one-run lead…and we brought it back to three. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, but we just had to keep on that gas pedal and make some timely plays. Some balls may fall here or there and it changes the game, but at the end of the day we fell just that short,” Sprague’s Eli Lowe said. “We were on a high horse for a long time and they’re a good ball club. We played a good game today, coming from both sides…South played a great game, I thought we played a great game. It really set-up the series, we’ve been battling all series and all week long. This was the settler and we just fell just short of it, just by that much.”
South didn’t falter though despite Sprague re-adding to their lead. The Saxon momentum remained as they load the bases with one out. Noah Scharer drove two in as the Saxons were faced with the option that one pitch could end this game and their comeback bid with runners on first and second.
A Sprague pass ball moved the runners over to second and third. Cole Weiland was intentionally walked to load the bases, Teagan Scott was then walked to tie the game to bring Vogt to the plate. Vogt put a first-pitch single into play that drove home the game-winning game and to finish the comeback and take the three-game series two games to one over Sprague.
Scott drove in 4RBI’s on 2-for-3 hitting and Carter Nelson struck out four in three innings. Lowe hit a two-run home run in the first inning as the Sprague senior finished with 3RBI’s and two hits. Henry Mhoon was the other Olympian with a multi-hit game with two hits as well.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald