JUNIOR BASEBALL: Ryan Spencer, Seth Fast lead Dallas to thrilling victory over Corvallis

DALLAS -- There wasn't much time to think.So when the Corvallis batter failed to make contact with the suicide squeeze on -- thanks to a smartly located pitch from Logan Hatley -- Dallas catcher Ryan Spencer sprung into action."Hatley saw (the runner) coming home, so he threw it high and inside, which is super hard to bunt," Spencer said of the play early in the ninth inning Friday. "Seth (Fast) did exactly what he was supposed to do by coming in with the runner, but since he was turned around, I couldn't really throw to him."Spencer didn't hesitate -- he simply ran the runner down, dove and tagged him out before he reached third base.It was one of many smart plays the Dragons -- who had entered the bottom of the seventh inning down three runs -- executed late to hold off the Spartans and give Fast a chance to connect on the game-winning, RBI single in the ninth for a 5-4 victory in Division I Junior Baseball action.Entering the seventh inning down 4-1, it appeared that Corvallis would wrap up a win on Dallas' home field.Except it was at that time that the Dragons decided to hit.With two outs and a runner on second base, Dallas shortstop Jackson Taylor drilled an RBI-single to center field.Spencer came up next, lacing a double to the center field gap to score Taylor to set up a Fast line drive down the third-base line to score Spencer and knot the game at 4-all.With darkness looming, Hatley took over on the mound and kept Corvallis batters in check for two more innings before Fast's walkoff winner.With plenty of new faces on a squad that features just three varsity high school guys from 2013 -- Fast, Hatley and Josh Kibbey -- the Dragons (14-1) certainly have a new look, but that's OK. Photo by Nicole Watkins Dallas’ Jackson Taylor, right, is congratulated after a hit Friday. They also have new faces stepping in to lead."It's actually kind of fun, because when I was on the varsity team I was always nervous because there were a bunch of older guys," Fast, who started at third base, said. "Now, I'm one of the older guys and you just play baseball."Spencer, who most likely will take over the varsity catching duties after the graduation of all-state player Bret Moskal, has been waiting for this moment -- even if it is only summer baseball."I've been around Dallas baseball ever since I can remember and I just remember watching Ryan Fobert and Bret Moskal throughout my life," said Spencer, who started on the 2013 DHS junior varsity I team that went 20-1. "I'm learning how to lead a baseball team."On the mound, Dallas got four good innings out of starter Dakota Nelson before Tucker Weaver took over in the fifth.Weaver gave up three runs but struck out five batters before Hatley took the mound in the eighth inning.Granite Stephenson accounted for the game's first run, belting an RBI-single to left field to give Dallas a 1-0 lead in the first inning.Part of Dallas' success this summer has been a combination of two things: solid pitching and overall team speed. "We don't give up a lot of runs," Dallas coach Scot McDonald said. "They do play a little differently -- we didn't necessarily have a lot of team speed in the spring, but most of these kids, they're going to do more of the small ball game. "They're going to bunt and hit and run to take the extra base. They get doubles just by legging them out or putting pressure on the other team. Sometimes, it's easier to score runs that way." NEXT GAMES DALLAS AT THURSTON TOURNAMENT Game times(Opponents TBA) Friday: Noon and 3 p.m. Saturday: 6 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. Dallas at South Albany When: Thursday, 6 p.m. Dallas at Crescent Valley (DH) When: Tuesday, 3 p.m.


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