By Jeremy McDonald
ST. PAUL, Ore.– St. Paul were tested to close out the regular season against North Douglas/Elkton.
Matter of fact, the Buckaroos might be one of the more battle tested teams going into the 2A/1A Playoffs having played Kennedy, Banks and the Warriors the past five games.
Going into the sixth inning, St. Paul and North Douglas/Elkton traded the ideology of “Give you a hit, not a run” as both defenses clutched up even when there were baserunners on with the Buckaroos leading 2-1 at the moment.
Warren Rose was on a mission with 11 strikeouts with his defense backing him up.
“It was close the entire time and we kept believing in ourselves that we’ll come back. We started off good, we got down a little bit and they scored a couple of runs, but to end it like that great game. I couldn’t explain it any more,” smiles Rose. “It was really clutch worthy, our defense locked up and locked down. I was put in a tough situation, hitting a guy and walking another and not executing on basic fundamentals. I feel like my teammates behind me made me work so much harder and we were able to pull through and came out with a dub.”
The sixth inning however, seemed to be that one moment that the Warriors were looking for as they loaded up the bases with no outs and slowly began to turn the tide of the game into their favor. Going into the bottom half of the sixth, North Douglas/Elkton led 3-2. The Warriors tacked one more on off a balk, putting pressure on St. Paul to do something with their final at-bats of the game down 4-2
The Buckaroos battled however. Suede Haven got on base, Rose drove the run in with two outs. Nearly making it out to tie the game. Tyler Crawford tied it up the next at-bat at four.
Momentum was on their side again as Sullivan Grott got himself and Kenyon Jackson, pinch-running for Crawford, on the corners before Seth Knutson drove in Jackson for the win. Capping the Senior Day win in comeback fashion to wrap-up a tough stretch going into the postseason.
“It was very surreal, everyone was pretty amp’d up in the last inning. I’m pretty happy, everyone worked hard and it was a way to wrap up Senior Night,” Knutson said. “All those games (against Kennedy, Banks and North Douglas), they’re going to get us ready for the playoffs. We’ve seen some pretty good pitching from those teams, all of that is going to help us get ready for the playoffs.”
Rose finished with 14 strikeouts in six innings and drove in a run. Crawford led the offense with 3-for-4 hitting with 2RBI’s and Grott drove in 2RBI’s as well. Trenton Rabuck led the Warriors with 3-for-4 hitting and Tucker Kallinger went six-and-two-third innings, striking out five for North Douglas/Elkton.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald