(This article was originally published on JMcDonaldMedia.com)
By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.—With the league season now over, there’s an empty week to play some extra tune-up games leading into the postseason for the West Salem Titan Baseball team.
In their first of three games this week against Lincoln, a 6-4 victory, the bats started strong to help support their pitcher in Lucas Stanfield as the Titans led 4-3 after the second inning.
“That’s what we need to be doing the rest of the year now. The beginning of the year, that was something we were very good at is getting our bats going…scoring in the first inning,” said Noah Juarez. “Getting those hits before the other team and throughout the year we moved away from that since our approach was different.”
Now, as the postseason approaches, the plate approach is slowly coming back to where it was from the start of the season with their back-end of a back-to-back game with Wilson Tuesday afternoon in Portland.
“But I think this now is getting back to our approach, sitting fast balls early, taking hacks and getting the game going early instead of waiting until the fifth or sixth inning and getting things going,” said Juarez.
Juarez went 2-for-3, Erik Swanson went 3-for-3 on the day with an RBI.
Defensively, after surrendering three runs in the opening six outs, West Salem settled down with Stanfield striking out nine in six innings of work. The lone Cardinals run came in the top of the fifth inning off a Myles Parkel single, driving home Brant Campanian who too third moments earlier off a wild pitch.
“They were a good hitting team, we did a good job staying within ourselves and not trying to do too much and came out with the win,” said Stanfield. “It felt like it was a good game to win after we played South (Salem) two times, good teams. It was good to play (Lincoln).”
Bottom half of the inning Kyle Mitsuyasu scored off a wild pitch from third to hand the Titans back to lead, 5-4 and Kaiden Reidhead extended the lead 6-4 off a RBI single that scored Wilson Neitzel from second base.
After the Wilson game Tuesday, West Salem will be hosting Central Catholic Thursday for Senior Night.