Celts fall to old conference foe

McNary’s Jacob Jackson heads for second base after hitting a ball to the wall in right field. Jackson had four hits on the night, but it wasn’t enough as the Celtics fell to North Salem by a score of 11-5 (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

After falling behind early, the McNary baseball team wasn’t able to recover in their non-league contest with North Salem.

North Salem scored four runs in the bottom of the first and went on to defeat the Celtics 11-5 on Thursday, Mar. 21.

McNary had their top arm on the hill in David Allen, but the senior right-hander struggled to get into a rhythm in the bottom of the first. 

North Salem started the game with five consecutive hits to take the early 3-0 lead as Allen had a hard time locating his fastball.

“His fastball was up in the zone and North Salem has always been a good fastball hitting team,” McNary head coach Larry Keeker said. “His velocity was fine. It’s just that when you locate it at the belt up in the strike zone, those guys are going to be able to hit it.”

After issuing a free pass to load the bases, a dropped fly ball in left field allowed another North Salem run to come across. 

Allen was able to retire the next three hitters, but the damage had already been done. 

Despite the run differential, McNary actually matched the Vikings with 13 hits on the night. However, the Celtics couldn’t take advantage with runners in scoring position.

This theme began in the top of the first as one-out singles from Allen and Jacob Jackson got a threat going for the Celtics. But the Vikings got out of the frame unscathed.

“With all the hits, you would think we would score a few more runs,” Keeker said. “We just simply missed some opportunities.” 

McNary got their first run in the bottom of the third on a RBI-double from Jackson — who was 4-for-4 on the night — to cut McNary’s deficit to 4-1. But a pair of base-running errors prevented the Celtics from doing anymore damage. 

With no outs and Jackson on second, the senior shortstop got too greedy and tried to swipe third, but was thrown out by North Salem catcher Brian Bernal.

Ty Covalt then got aboard on a hard-hit single, but was doubled-up moments later after appearing to forget their was only one out on a fly ball to the outfield. 

“We made some bad base-running mistakes,” Keeker said. “Those are mental things that are disappointing to see.”

Allen seemed to recover on the bump following the first inning as he got through the second and third fames with ease. However, it all fell apart in the bottom of the fourth. 

With two on and two out, an RBI-double by William Tsukamaki put the Vikings up 5-1. Allen surrendered another run after walking the next two batters. Then, Bernal hit a three-run triple on a misplayed ball from McNary left fielder Noah Bach.

“The misplayed fly ball in left ended up being a really big play,” Keeker said. 

North Salem scored another unearned run on an error by Devon Bedoya and went up 10-1 as Allen was unable to finish the inning.

On the verge of being run-ruled, McNary refused to give-in, despite the large deficit. 

After a walk by Allen and a single from Jackson, Covalt laced a two-run double to the center field wall in the top of the fifth. 

McNary got a run in the top of the sixth on an RBI-groundout from Bedoya and another run in the seventh on an RBI-double from Jackson.