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Chemeketa’s baseball team shows improvement after game-one loss to Titans

Troy Benton (left), a freshman pitcher, and head coach Nathan Pratt spread Turface around home plate. Turface soaks up water and mud, that dries the ground out a little quickly to resume play. As Lane’s catcher and umpire standby watching them work during thursday night’s second game.

Troy Benton (left), a freshman pitcher, and head coach Nathan Pratt spread Turface around home plate. Turface soaks up water and mud, that dries the ground out a little quickly to resume play. As Lane’s catcher and umpire standby watching them work during thursday night’s second game.

By Dylan Shackleford – Photo by Brad Bakke

The Storm struggled early on Thursday in the first game of the double- header against the Lane Titans, losing 8-3, but was able to finish strong with a 1-1 tie in the second game.

Storm pitcher Martin Brown struggled to find his rhythm early, giving up an early one-run lead in the top of the first inning.

The Titans also left their mark in the top of second, putting up five more runs.

The Storm would not let the Titans run away with it early, however, as shortstop DJ Harryman was able to reach base on a throwing error, and aided by a wild pitch, scored Chemeketa’s first run.

The Storm cut the deficit to four when second baseman Jacob Riddell was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in a run.

The top of the fourth inning began with an amazing over-the-shoulder diving catch by Harryman to save a hit.

Harryman gave credit to the command of his pitcher, saying that Brown “pitched exactly where it should be, on the outside corner, and I just made a read on the play, saw the ball in the air, and made the play.”

Brown settled down nicely and threw four scoreless innings after the rough start.

The Storm was able to push in a run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly to deep right by designated hitter Ryan Snow, allowing first baseman Justin Adam to score and making the score 6-3.

After giving up another run in the eighth, Brown gave way to reliever Brian Middleton, who was able to get the Storm out of a late jam.

The top of ninth inning ended with another impressive over-the-shoulder catch, this time by Adams, as he was approaching the fence in foul territory.

But the Storm couldn’t rally in the bottom of the ninth and dropped the first game.
Storm coach Nathan Pratt said before the game that the team was focused on “attacking the strike zone and putting quality at-bats together.”

He also said that he’d like to have the second inning back.

“We misplayed a bunt, walked a guy, and made one little missed play in the outfield, and it ended up leading to several runs,” he said.

“Take that away, and I think we were in pretty good shape for the game.”
Pratt’s mindset in the next game was to have his team’s players “command their fastball and have good situational hitting.”

Even though the Storm strung together six hits in game two, they could only manage to push one run across the plate, but the team was still able to play to a draw with the Titans.

The quick improvement for the Storm is a good sign as they look to come out with a victory when they play their next home game, at 2 p.m. on April 11 against Clark.

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