Season ends for Mac's Hyder Dental
Reynolds scored the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth inning and followed that up with an insurance run in the top of the seventh to pull away from Hyder and move on to a best-of-three series vs. Oregon City this weekend to try and qualify for the state tournament.
“We needed to make just a couple of more plays,” Hyder Dental coach Brandon Jones said. “That’s about it.”
With runners on first and third base in the top of the sixth inning, an overthrown ball to first helped Reynolds score the go-ahead run. An error in the top of the seventh led to Reynolds scoring its fourth run of the game and effectively ending Hyder’s season.
“A couple of plays here and there really kill you,” Jones said.
Hyder took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Colton Heidt reached on a walk and then scored on an RBI single from Lane Hessel. Hessel then scored on a wild pitch. Hyder had its chances the rest of the way but failed to push across any more runs. It left five runners on base after the second inning.
While the focus this summer has been on McMinnville’s other summer team — Oregon Mainline Paving — Hyder has quietly been putting in the work needed to prepare its players for one day playing for the Grizzlies’ varsity. Hyder played 17 games this summer, finishing 7-10 in a tough league that included Lake Oswego.
“I feel like we competed every single game,” Jones said, “even with the best teams in our league.”
Jones, a 2010 graduate of McMinnville, played two years of baseball at Linn-Benton Community College. He helped McMinnville varsity coach Darren Bland coach in the spring, overseeing the freshman team. Jones said the summer is the perfect time for McMinnville’s younger players to work on their skills
“Most improvement happens during the summer because you play more than during the spring,” he said. “You have some of the kids that swung up to varsity this summer. They get to go up there and watch that baseball. Then they come down here and play and apply what they learned, which usually makes them a lot better. I really like it as a coach. I love seeing improvement.
“And they’re great kids. That’s probably the easiest part about it. All of these kids work hard.”
Hyder featured a roster jam-packed with underclassmen. Jones said 18 players suited up Wednesday, and he averaged 16 kids during the summer season.
“Kind of a challenge playing all of them,” he said, “but I think I did well doing that.”
While the season is now over, Jones said he thinks the players got the experience they needed for next spring, and most importantly, they never lost their enthusiasm for the game.
“I was really happy with how they played and stayed in games,” he said. “All the kids were here and cheered and were never down.”