Siuslaw lands Eagles in season opener

The Vikings baseball team took advantage of good weather and a change in venue

March 16, 2019 — The Vikings baseball team took advantage of good weather and a change in venue to host two games at John “Jiggs” Dodson Stadium last week, beginning with Harrisburg on Wednesday.

With three games scheduled over two days, Siuslaw coach Tom Shinn described his pitching rotation as “pitcher by committee,” adding that he didn’t want to stretch anyone too thin.

Against the Eagles, Siuslaw rotated five pitchers, including Tim Lowder, Jared Northrop, Clay Kramer, Zach Stinger, Caleb Hennessee and Dalton Stinger, who threw a scoreless seventh inning to preserve the win, 8-5.

Mapleton senior Gabe Simington and Siuslaw sophomore Chayton James had 2 RBIs each. James, along with Northrop and sophomore Elijah Blankenship, scored 2 runs each.

“We had focused on some specific offensive ideas during the first two weeks — things that really hurt us last season,” said Shinn. “I hope the kids see how that work had been successful.”

Shinn added that he felt the team got away from that focus a little in the third, fourth and fifth innings, “but got refocused in the sixth to close it out.”

The next day, the Vikings hosted Sutherlin for a doubleheader that included a total of just 11 innings due to darkness.

In game one, Blankenship led Siuslaw offensively, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. Dalton Stinger and Northrop each smacked a single for the Viks’ only hits in the game.

Meanwhile, only two of the Bulldogs’ 7 runs were earned as Sutherlin took advantage of 5 errors to edge Siuslaw, 7-5.

“We just made too many mistakes in that first game,” said Shinn.”

The Viks also struck out 13 times, including four innings with runners on base — and runners in scoring position in three of those innings.

“Putting the ball in play is important,” Shinn said. “Put pressure on the defense to make a play, but when you don’t do that you make the game a lot easier for your opponent.”

In the nightcap, Sutherlin claimed a 7-0 win in 3-and-a-half innings after the game was called due to darkness.

The Viks will be on the road Tuesday at Pleasant Hill, beginning at 4:30 p.m.


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