Offense carries Celts in victory over Woodburn

J.T. Vachter delivers to the plate for the Celtics on Wednesday, July 29 (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings)

The McNary Youth Baseball 12U squad exploded for four runs in the first inning and six runs in the fifth on their way to a 14-6 victory over Woodburn on Wednesday, July 29.

While they played with a mix of new kids and experienced players, the Celtics proved to be in-sync for the majority of the game.

“I was pleased with the way that we played and competed. We had a lot of kids playing in different positions and they all kept their focus really well,” Celtics coach Bob Wort said. 

After giving up a leadoff triple and a walk to begin the contest, Celtics pitcher J.T. Vachter fanned the next two hitters he faced, then got out of the frame unscathed by forcing a groundout.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Celtics bats got hot immediately.

Bryce Felbob doubled to center field to start the inning, which was followed by another two-bagger by Henry Wort to give the Celtics a 1-0 lead. McNary upped their advantage to 3-0 when Luke Allen hit a two-run moonshot over the wall in left field. 

“We have the ability to score in a hurry. We have a bunch of kids that can get on base, which really helps when you have a couple kids that can hit it out,” Wort said.

Derek Olivio came around to score later in the frame after reaching on a hit-by-pitch.

Woodburn came back to score a pair in the top of the second on a two-run bloop single, but the Celtics responded with two runs of their own to keep their lead at four.

Parker DeMarco knocked in a run with an RBI-groundout and Tanen Swing scored later in the frame after J.P. Herring reached on an error. 

Felbob replaced Vachter on the bump in the top of the third and gave up two runs in two innings of work.

“Our guys don’t throw super hard, but they throw a lot of strikes. That’s what it’s all about at this level,” Wort said. “If you can avoid walks and free passes, you can do pretty well.”

Felbob hit his second double of the contest to lead off the bottom of the third. Henry Wort, the next batter, followed with a towering two-run bomb to left field to extend McNary’s lead to 8-3. 

“My eyes lit up when I saw that pitch,” he said.

Woodburn made things interesting in the in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs in the inning and cutting the deficit to 8-6. The Celtics, however, put the game away in the bottom half of the frame.

After a one-out single from Herring, Vachter doubled to the left center field gap. Felbob then followed with his third hit of the game, an RBI-single. Vachter eventually scored on a passed ball. 

Later in the inning, Allen was intentionally walked to load the bases. The next two batters, Olivio and Esteban Rusher, were both hit by pitches, which brought in two runs. Blake Hayman knocked in McNary’s final two runs with a single to left field. 

“We can play with anyone when we hit like that,” Wort said.