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2A-1A BASEBALL: No playoffs? No problem for Perrydale squad, off to 3-0 start

PERRYDALE -- As soon as it shook hands with Amity's squad following Monday's contest, the Perrydale baseball team lined up at home plate and ran the bases.

Perrydale’s Cody Halverson, left, lays down the tag on an Amity base runner Monday. The Pirates won the game, 10-1, in five innings.

Photo by Nicole Watkins

Perrydale’s Cody Halverson, left, lays down the tag on an Amity base runner Monday. The Pirates won the game, 10-1, in five innings.

April 03, 2013

PERRYDALE -- As soon as it shook hands with Amity's squad following Monday's contest, the Perrydale baseball team lined up at home plate and ran the bases.

You would have thought the Pirates were being punished -- until you heard the laughter.

"We do that after every game," second-year Perrydale coach Steve Mabry said with a smile about the drill that he picked up from his college coach, back when he played for the now-defunct Eastern Washington baseball team.

Perrydale defeated Amity, 10-1 in five innings, by the way.

"Win or lose, it's just kind of a thing that keeps us together. Good or bad, we always say we're out here to learn, to get better. It kind of clears the air for them. If they have a tough game, it breaks it down for them a little bit and they can laugh and mess around a little bit.

"It's just a fun thing to do."

With a 3-0 start to the season, the Pirates -- in year two after a two-year span without a program -- are having plenty of fun.

"I think we're a little more focused this year," said senior Jacob Dunn, back on the field after missing basketball season with a knee injury.

"Last year was kind of crazy because we weren't sure if we were going to have a team, but now that we do, we're back and ready to go."

Unfortunately for Perrydale, the school wasn't confident on its numbers before the Oregon School Activities Association deadline hit to determine it a varsity team.

So like last season, the Pirates will play an independent schedule from their brethren in the 2A-1A Special District 2, and will be ineligible for postseason play.

Perrydale’s Jacob Dunn, left, takes off for home plate during Monday’s 10-1 win over Amity in five innings. Dunn had two hits, a double and three RBI in the game.

Photo by Nicole Watkins

Perrydale’s Jacob Dunn, left, takes off for home plate during Monday’s 10-1 win over Amity in five innings. Dunn had two hits, a double and three RBI in the game.

That fact doesn't mean Perrydale -- which features five seniors in Dunn, Josh Hiebenthal, Justin Cruickshank, Mick Hawes and Philipp Heusel -- is backing down, however.

Though Monday's victory came against Amity's junior varsity team, Perrydale picked up a 9-6 win over Monroe's varsity squad March 22.

"We don't have a varsity schedule, but we still want to win all the games that we can," junior third baseman Cody Halverson said.

"Hopefully, all of them."

Hiebenthal picked up the win on the mound in Monday's five-inning affair, allowing just two hits in four innings to go along with seven strikeouts while not allowing an earned run.

Cruickshank led the way at the plate with his 3-for-3 performance, including a double and three RBI. Dunn tallied two hits and three RBI, Hawes had two hits and two RBI and Halverson, Keenen Bailey and Troy Trembly added singles.

"We have enough good players that we could be consistently in the mix (in varsity play)," Mabry said, adding that the team's goal is to finish with a .750 winning percentage.

"I said to them, `Show me .750 and there's no doubt about it - you go .750 and you can play in any league.' Now, they're saying they want to go 19-0."

That chip on the Pirates' shoulder doesn't bother Mabry, either.

"Everybody loves the underdog," he added with a smile.

"I want to be undefeated this year," Dunn said. "I don't want to lose a game. I want to prove that we can earn a varsity schedule, I mean, for years to come.

"I won't be here (next year), but I just want to prove it."

NEXT GAMES

Kennedy at Perrydale

When: Wednesday, 4:30 p.m.

Perrydale at Salem Academy

When: Monday, 4:30 p.m.

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