Canby's baseball trip proves fruitful
A spring break road trip for the ages saw the Canby High baseball team travel to Arizona where they recorded a 1-3 record, but also got valuable experience, according to head coach JJ Stolsig.
"The trip to Arizona was great," Stolsig said. "The weeklong trip allowed our guys to see top-level talent at the high school, college and professional ranks up close. Our boys learned a lot about each other as baseball players, but more importantly, what each guy is about off the field."
Canby opened with a 1-4 loss to La Grande thanks to a walk-off homer in the seventh inning.
Joe Brauckmiller was tough on the mound for the Cougars, throwing four innings, striking out four and not allowing a hit. Mikey Gibson had a good day at the plate going 2 for 3 with Canby's lone RBI, scoring Kellan Oakes on a single to right field in the top of the fifth to take a 1-0 lead.
"We struggled to play good defense on this day and that led to many of their runs scored," Stolsig said.
Game 2 featured a battle with Dakota Ridge from Colorado. Canby dropped a 4-5 decision courtesy of a walk-off base hit from Dakota Ridge in a game that ended after six due to time limitations.
Oakes started on the mound, going three innings while striking out five batters. At the plate, Oakes went 2 for 4 with a double, scored a run, and had four RBIs. Hunter Robinson had a good day at the plate going 2 for 3 with a double, scored a run, and had a big two-out RBI.
The Cougars scored four in the top of the fifth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Dakota Ridge scored one in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3 then scored two in the bottom of the sixth.
For game 3, Canby played Shadow Ridge out of Arizona, falling by a 1-7 score.
The Cougars jumped out to a brief 1-0 lead in the first inning after Brauckmiller delivered a single, then stole second base. Oakes drove him home on a single to right field.
"From there, Shadow Ridge took control of the game," Stolsig said. "They had a pitcher on the hill that was dominant on that day. He was tough."
They scored one in the first, four in the second and two in the fifth. Oakes again had a good day at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a double and a RBI. Theo Netter was 1 for 2 with two balls hit hard. Jack Joyce was stellar in relief on the mound, pitching 1 2/3 innings, striking out two and did not allow a baserunner.
Canby got in the win column in game 4, defeating Littleton High School of Colorado by a 13-3 score in five innings.
Alex Evans was solid on the mound going three innings, striking out six while only allowing one earned run. Quinton Esmay was good in relief going two innings and striking out five batters.
Offensively, Clayton Langdale got the Cougars on the board in the second inning with a two-run line drive over the left center fence for a home run. Langdale, Oakes and Owen Tilden all had two RBIs on the day. Bryce Oliver, Brauckmiller, Langdale and Oakes all scored two runs each.
"We broke the game open by scoring 11 runs in the third inning," Stolsig said. "We showed good plate discipline earning 14 free passes either by a walk or hit by pitch.
"Baseball-wise, overall we didn't play our best baseball, but we learned what areas we need to improve on as we gear up for another nonleague week of baseball before getting into our league schedule," Stolsig added.
The Cougars battle visiting Southridge (3/29), travel to Barlow (3/30) and then host Lebanon (4/1) to round out the nonleague slate.
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