North Marion Pulls Away From Stayton In Big OWC Match-Up

By Jeremy McDonald

STAYTON, Ore.–  Both North Marion and Stayton showed grit, fight and determination in their Oregon West Conference series opener Monday afternoon at Stayton High School.  And for good reason as the traveling North Marion Huskie squad took the opening game 10-5 on this day.

With both teams having one more series left in the regular season after this, the Eagles have one more series plus one more game to close out their Philomath series, and both neck-and-neck on top of the league standings; this Huskies-Stayton series could go ultimately decide who wins the conference when the league season ends next week.

North Marion struck first, taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom half of the first inning on starting pitcher Wyatt Connally and his Stayton defense.  But the Eagles would storm back, chipping away at Dawson Schrenk and his defense to tie the game up going into the fifth inning at three.  Stayton entered the game undefeated in league play at 8-0 to the 8-1 league record that the Huskies walked into the game with.

The Green Machine pulled ahead once more by three, 6-3, before the Eagles pulled them back in going into the seventh inning down 6-5.  North Marion was unusually patient on the basepaths compared to how they’ve been this season, pushing more of a tempo pace and stealing bags along the way to set up their hitters for runs.

“Our whole emphasis was to grind out the bats, grind out innings, and make plays for our pitcher.  Put the ball in play, so they can make plays.  Just go out and keep grinding every inning and that’s what we did today, felt great about that,” said Schrenk.  

Stayton rallied to tie the game up at 3 in the fourth and brought North Marion back to within one going into the seventh inning of Monday’s OWC matchup in Stayton (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For Stayton, despite the little things not bouncing their way in certain moments defensively and offensively, they were in this game late.  Putting the pressure on the Huskies to do what they had to do to win this game while giving themselves a chance at the win as well as they look to bounce back Wednesday for Game 2 of the three-game set.

“It was a really competitive game, it was good for us and we’re going to take it as an opportunity to improve.  It’s always fun to compete, it’s not always fun to lose, so we’re going to come back for these next two and go to fight with everything we got,” Stayton’s Ty Borde said.  “It teaches us that we need to stay consistent at the plate.  We came back, we battled back and I felt like we had a dip in the nergy in the middle of the game and we can’t do that in the next two games.  We’re going to bring it consistently for the whole game and we’re going to come back and get these guys.”

And knowing that they’re opposition will not go down without a fight in the next game, the Huskies built some positive momentum for Game 2 as they scored four runs in the seventh inning to help pull away from the Eagles.  Issac Peirce and Schrenk each had hits that drove in two runs a piece that turned that then 6-5 game into a 10-5 lead before Schrenk finished off his complete game effort.

“Those kinds of hits are always big and those kinds of hits alway get the other guys going and getting fired up.  Almost tied game, 6-5 I think starting off that inning.  Blaine (Smith) hit one to the fence and we just kept riding that momentum, we got a lot of guys that cna swing it and our coaches trust us to do that and we just went up there with that ready to go,” Pierce said.  “We talked about grit and grinding it out in those types of games and I think this game really proved that we can do that.  To our coaches, to our group, as a collective that we can actually do that and play some really good competition against a really good team.”

Schrenk led the Huskies on offense by going 3-for-5 with 2RBI’s and struck out  three in a complete game effort.  Perice went 2-for-3 with 2RBI’s as well.  Cole Haamck and Carter Reilly each had two hits for North Marion.  Eli Brown led the offense with 2-for-2 hitting.  Connor Choate, Borde, Cody Leming and Grady Salisbury each drove in a run for Stayton.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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