Tough Start for Eagles After First Six SSC League Games

The Eagles Baseball team got off to a great start in the league by beating the Klamath Union Pelicans’ Jake Whartenburg, one of the league’s strongest pitchers, 5-3 in their home opener  April 5.  Unfortunately the second game of the doubleheader did not end up going the Eagles way as they dropped that game by a score of 8-5.

Senior pitcher Frank Charlton picked up the win in the first game by
going the distance  allowing only 5 Pelican hits, all were singles. 
Charlton struck out eight batters over 7 innings and was helped out by
a solid Eagle defensive effort.  The Eagles only committed 1 error in
the first game.
   
Junior shortstop Garrett Davis provided
the defensive highlight of the day.  With nobody out in the top of the
7th  and the Eagles clinging to a 2 run lead, the Pelicans had a runner
at second base, first base and their leadoff hitter at the plate.  The
Pelicans leadoff hitter hit a rocket line drive between third base and
short stop, it looked as if the Pelicans would pull within a run of the
Eagles, have their leadoff hitter on base as well as the runner from
first advancing to at least second base and again with nobody out. 
This was until Garrett Davis dove to his right, putting himself
horizontal in the air and sneered the would be RBI single or double and
proceeded to double off the Pelicans runner at second base.  After this
outstanding defensive play by Davis, Charlton induced a fly ball out to
right field by the Pelicans number two hitter to end the game and
provide the Eagles with the game one victory.
   
The Eagles
traveled to Klamath Falls on April 12 to take on the Vikings from
Mazama.  The Eagles dropped both of these in heartbreaking fashion with
the Vikings scoring the winning runs in both games in the bottom of the
7th inning.  Just as he had the week before, Frank Charlton had an
outstanding pitching performance in game one; striking out seven Viking
hitters while walking only one.  Charlton helped his cause in the top
of the first by blasting a two run homer to left field, his first of
the season. 
   
The Vikings climbed back in the game by
scoring two runs in the bottom half of the third and then took a 3-2
lead when they plated another run in the bottom of the fifth.  Senior
second baseman Ben Charlton tied the game for the Eagles in the top of
the sixth when his RBI single to right-center plated brother Frank from
second base.  Frank Charlton had walked and stole second prior to Ben
hitting him in.  The Eagles lead was short lived however when the
Vikings scored the winning run in the bottom half of the 7th inning
with one out. 
   
In the second game of the doubleheader Ryan
Smith started on the mound for the Eagles and turned in a fine
performance pitching five plus strong innings, striking out six
Vikings.  Smith turned the ball over to junior teammate Brian Smith who
then finished the game for the Eagles.  The Eagles were overtaken in
the bottom half of the 7th inning when Mazama’s number two hitter
belted a 3 run homerun to left-center to lift the Vikings to a 12-9
victory and doubleheader sweep of the Eagles.  Seniors Ryan Smith and
Frank Charlton paced the Eagles offense in game 2 of the doubleheader
by going a combined 5 for 8 at the plate, scoring 3 runs and giving the
Eagles 3 RBI. 
   
For their fifth and sixth league games of
the young season the Eagles hosted the Ashland Grizzlies on April 15.
They were the pre-season favorite to win the SSC league title and the
state’s number 1 ranked 5A team.  The Grizzlies proved to be all their
rankings indicated them to be by sweeping the doubleheader from the
Eagles 20-1 and 20-3.  The Eagles did not help themselves any in game
one by committing 7 errors with 4 of the 7 coming in the Grizzlies half
of their 8 run first inning.  The Grizzlies pitchers stymied the Eagles
hitters in game one by only allowing three hits.  Two of these three
hits were singles; the first came in the bottom of the second by senior
Ben Charlton who was then plated two batters later when junior
shortstop Garrett Davis hit a double.  Davis collected the Eagles other
single in the bottom half of the 5th.                
In game two
the Eagles played much better defensively but again were not able to
contain the Gizzlies offensive barrage.  The Eagles collected six hits
in the second game with five of them coming in their half of the fifth
inning.  Junior Brian Smith broke up the no hitter in the third  when
he singled to the left side, while senior third baseman Scott Erickson,
senior DH Frank Charlton, senior catcher Darin Adams, senior second
baseman Ben Charlton and junior shortstop Derek Tuttle tallied five
hits in a row.  These five hits scored the Eagles three runs with Darin
Adams hit being a 2 RBI double.
   
The Eagles are now 1-5 in
the SSC league and 4-9 overall through Apr. 12.  However the Eagles
playoff hopes are far from over since they still have over half of
their league schedule remaining. Three of five teams from the SSC will 
advance to the post season this year.  For the Eagles to reach their
goal of making it into the post season they will need to score runs on
more of a consistent basis, play better defense and continue to get
strong pitching performance. They had a doubleheader against Crater
Apr. 19, face top ranked Black Tornado this week and KU on Apr. 26. 
The Eagles will  return home on May 3 and attempt to even the score
with the Vikings. 

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