By Gini Davis — The Creswell Chronicle
A pair of losses last week wrapped preseason for the Creswell Bulldogs. The Dawgs fell 6-7 to host Monroe on April 3 and were shut out 0-7 by visiting Horizon Christian on April 5. The scheduled league opener against Coquille last Friday was rescheduled due to rain.
“We had four errors against Monroe and four against Horizon Christian,” noted Creswell Head Coach Chris Whitmore.
Dallas Dewey opened on the mound for the Bulldogs at Monroe, giving up three earned runs on five hits, striking out five and walking four in 3 2/3 innings. “Dallas threw really well; he’s really stepped it up,” Whitmore said. “It wasn’t until the fourth inning that they started hitting him, and he’d thrown 86 pitches by that point.”
Dean Howard pitched 1 2/3 innings, giving up two earned runs on one hit, striking out three and walking three.
Hunter Stevahn came on with the score tied 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth, “and was able to shut them down”; but Monroe scored the walk-off run in the seventh.
Jacob Spriggs went 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI, Cade Apo was 1-for-2 and scored, Brady Lane and Howard were 1-for-3 and scored, Dewey was 1-for-4 and scored, and Jack Callahan and Dawson Sharkey each had an RBI and scored.
“Monroe’s a tough 2A team; two of the last three years they’ve been in the state championship game,” Whitmore noted. “We really hit a lot better – we got five hits – but we stranded eight runners, so we had a few more chances to capitalize.”
Against Horizon Christian, Lane got Creswell’s only hit. “The ball dropped to the third base side of the mound, and he hustled down and was able to beat it out,” Whitmore said. “Other than that, it was just a day when our bats weren’t clicking, in a game where we really needed them to work.”
Horizon Christian scored four runs in the first inning, deflating the Dawgs early. “They weren’t really hitting hard, but were hitting the gaps, and I think the guys let it get to them,” Whitmore said. “We need to be the same team all the time, even when we’re down.”
Apo pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits, striking out two and walking four.
Tyler Frieze pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out one and walking two.
Lane pitched the final inning, striking out one.
“This was the first game we’ve lost by more than three runs; usually our pitching’s been able to keep us in it,” Whitmore said. “And the errors have been a constant thing for us. All our infielders are really good, two- and three-sport athletes; they can make those plays. They just need to work on getting their feet underneath them, and gain experience making plays quickly.”
League play opens this week, with games against Coquille, Harrisburg and Pleasant Hill.