Extra special victory
YAMHILL – With one swing of the bat, Zach Rhodes broke the game open.
The Yamhill-Carlton junior sent an offering from Dayton pitcher Kobe Chenea over the left-field fence at Yamhill-Carlton High School for a grand slam, part of a six-run fifth inning that gave the Class 4A Tigers an 8-1 lead over the Class 3A Pirates.
“That was,” Dayton coach Roger Lorenzen said, “a knockout punch.”
“That could’ve been the knockout punch,” Y-C coach Brett Brunner said. “Should’ve been.”
Brunner stood in the visiting dugout with a reporter after a 13-8, nine-inning loss, rain pouring on the baseball field, left with what could have been.
Chase Young hit an RBI single in the sixth inning, and the Pirates (3-3, 2-0 Class 3A West Valley League) came all the way back in the seventh inning, plating six baserunners and leaving the game-winning run on third base before recording the third out of the inning. Caleb Letney hit a two-run double, Young and Jarred Ashley each hit sacrifice flies to bring home runners and Chenea scored on a third baseman’s error to draw the score even.
“The bats came alive,” Lorenzen said. “I’m glad they came alive. I’m glad (the guys) didn’t roll over.”
Y-C (1-6) had a chance at redemption in the eighth inning. Second baseman Jordan Spence singled and advanced to third base on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt. Lorenzen opted to intentionally walk Branden Bernards and Rhodes to bring up Tigers catcher Braden Martin, who hit into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.
“I didn’t like walking their (No. 3 and No. 4) hitters but that’s what you do,” Lorenzen said. “You take your chances and it paid off.”
Dayton started the ninth with a baserunner. Shortstop Darren Ashley popped up to second base, and Spence dropped the ball amid initial confusion in the field.
“We started with a defensive miscue of not taking charge,” Brunner said. “Baseball players are greedy. We should want the baseball. We don’t have that piss-and-vinegar type of attitude.”
From that miscue came a maelstrom. Dayton put up five runs in the inning, punctuated by a two-run single by Jarred Montgomery and a two-run double by Letney. (Letney was thrown out attempting to extend his double into a triple, the first out of the inning.) On the mound, Jarred Ashley (two innings pitched, three strikeouts) did not allow a run to earn the victory.
In hindsight, the pitchers’ duel that marked the first four innings of the nonleague contest is unimaginable. Yet there was Chenea, the Dayton freshman, and Tanner Myrick, the Yamhill-Carlton sophomore, throwing strikes and getting batters out.
Myrick allowed five hits in six innings, striking out 10 and walking one in a no-decision. He did not allow a run until the fifth inning. Tigers third baseman Ryan Bray hit an RBI double in the second inning and an RBI double in the fourth inning, and that appeared to be all the offense Y-C needed.
Until it was not enough.
“There were also innings where we need to tack on,” Brunner said. “We talk about kicking people when they’re down and stepping on their throat. We aren’t quite doing that. We had that opportunity.”
Montgomery finished 3-for-5 with three RBI, while Letney, Tony Alvarez and Jade Downs had two hits each.
Dayton plays at Amity tonight at 5 p.m. before hosting Gervais Friday for a 5 p.m. tilt. Yamhill-Carlton hosts Astoria tonight at 5 p.m. before a return engagement Thursday at 5 p.m. in Astoria.
Dayton 2, Willamina 1
DAYTON – Tony Alvarez hit an RBI single and Cavin Finley scored on an error to give the Pirates an edge over the Bulldogs in Class 3A West Valley League play Friday.
Caleb Letney struck out six batters in six innings for the win for Dayton, while Jarred Ashley recorded the save. Willamina pitchers Luis Estrada and Dylan Blakely combined to limit the Pirates to three hits.
Newport 7, Yamhill-Carlton 3
NEWPORT – The Cubs scored all seven of their runs in the first three innings and held on to defeat the Tigers in Class 4A nonleague play.