Sprague Baseball Survives Late Scare From McNary

 

After trailing by three runs heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, McNary's baseball team gave Sprague a scare Friday.

With two runs already in and his team clinging to a 6-5 lead with the bases loaded, Sprague pitcher Will Deloretto got a strikeout to preserve the road victory.

"The seventh inning is never easy," Sprague coach Luke Buchheit said. "Credit McNary. Really switched the momentum from what we had going into the seventh to completely on their side. If we don't have a kid clutch up, make an adjustment on the hill, and find the strike zone, we're probably still playing or going home not feeling the way we do right now."

Tanner Sorensen went 3 for 4, with a double, RBI and two runs scored for the Olympians, and pitcher Nate Rediger earned the victory.

"It feels great. Close games are the best, it's so exciting," Sorensen said. "It was huge. We knew McNary was going to bring its best stuff against us, and we were ready to play today.

Buchheit said his team's veteran leadership, including Sorensen, was key to holding off McNary

"We have a lot of savvy veteran baseball players on our team that has really helped us out," Buchheit said. "McNary is always a solid club, traditionally a very strong baseball program. Tanner is a guy who is kind of hot and cold, he's been up and down a little bit this year, but is our (cleanup) hitter for a reason.

With the loss, McNary falls to 5-9 overall and 3-4 in the Greater Valley Conference.

Sprague improves to 13-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference with the win.

"We look at our league, and it's a real top-heavy league," Buchheit said. "We know it was going to be a competitive league going into it. We still have our work cut out for us. We have a long ways to go. I absoulutely love and adore this group. They are kids that have sacrificed and know what it takes to win."

Sprague next will play at West Salem at 10 a.m. Saturday. McNary next will play at Sprague at 5 p.m. Monday.

"It's just fun to play with this team," Sorensen said. "Really, it's just a blast out here playing with these guys. We just need to string things together a little better. We ran ourselves out of a couple innings there."

Teams in the Mid-Valley have been dealing with weather postponements throughout much of the spring so far, and Sprague is in the midst of playing seven games in eight days.

"It's pretty crazy because we'll be told after school that we don't have a game, so it's kind of hard to prepare because you never know if you do," Sorensen said. "But as long as we're ready every time, and we do get that game in, we're always excited to play."

Original Article by Pete Martini, Statesman Journal (4-21-17)

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