After finishing off the Northwest Invitational tournament with a pair of victories, Newberg Abby's American Legion baseball team picked up two more wins in the last week to extend its win streak to four games.
Newberg beat Reynolds 14-4 on Saturday in six innings. Before that, the team beat Canby 7-1 on the road on June 26. The team was 6-9 on the summer before a trio of games against West Linn and Southridge this Monday and Tuesday – all played after press time due to early holiday deadlines.
Newberg head coach Trey Watt said he is encouraged by the results and by his team's development this summer.
"We're playing well right now," Watt said. "There's still some things we definitely need to improve on, like allowing free passes such as walks, hit-by-pitches and errors. Defensively, though, we're playing really well."
Pitcher Hudson Andrews has been superb on the mound this summer, not having allowed a "free pass" in five appearances, according to Watt. In the batter's box, a duo of hitters have been raking all summer, and it has paid dividends for Newberg.
"Connor Hale and Lucas Hill have been a two-man wrecking crew at the plate," Watt said. "They've really hit the ball well and had a good middle approach. They have just done a really good job trying to have a quality at-bat every time they step up to the plate."
These past four games have not only served as a contrast to the previous ones during summer season, but to a largely unsuccessful spring in which the Newberg High School varsity squad finished at the bottom of the Pacific Conference.
Through it all, Watt was confident in the trajectory of the program and that has been cemented by the last few weeks' performances.
"Hard work pays off" is a dated sport cliché used by coaches and sports writers far too often, but it's becoming a legitimate reality for Abby's as the weeks go by in their season.
"That's been the whole frustration part for me as a coach," Watt said. "I see how hard these guys work every day and for them not to get results they want is difficult. It makes me happy as a coach when they're rewarded like this.
"We definitely are going to be tested again. With teams like Southridge and West Linn on the schedule, we can't just be satisfied. We are improving and we have to maintain that."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.