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Day: April 22, 2014

Boys escape Saxons on strong defense, one run

Celtic Jordan Barchus gets an out at third base and tries for a double play at first in McNary’s game with Canby High School Wednesday, April 9. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celtic Jordan Barchus gets an out at third base and tries for a double play at first in McNary’s game with Canby High School Wednesday, April 9. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

Of the Keizertimes

The McNary High School varsity baseball team was likely thanking its lucky stars for pitchers after the team’s Central Valley Conference opener Friday, April 11.

The Celtics won 1-0. While junior Mickey Walker kept the Saxons at bay from the mound, McNary scored the only run of the game on a wild pitch by South’s Sam Tweedt.

“Any time you can get a win against a pitcher like Sam Tweedt, you’ve got to be happy,” said Larry Keeker, McNary head coach. “But we were under duress a number of times and managed to get out of jams.”

The critical inning for the Keizer team was the fifth. Jacob Wood led off at the plate with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice fly by Matt Aguilar. Walker struck out swinging on the next at bat, but Wood took third and then made it home on two wild pitches by Tweedt.

On the defensive side of the game, the Celts had three double plays that proved crucial, Keeker said.

McNary had only three hits in the game off the bats of Wood, Tim Hays and Hayden Gosling.

“It was hard to see it in the stats, but we were battling at the plate and ratcheting up Tweedt’s pitch count,” Hays said.

The team had 14 strikeouts. Walker allowed just two hits with five strikeouts in six-and-a-third innings pitched. He had 11 first-pitch strikes from the bump.

The game ended on a diving catch by Jordan Barchus, who also caught a runner off third base.

Keeker said the team is still struggling with a consistent mental approach to the game. The results have been moments of greatness followed by frustration.

“The consistency comes from flushing the bad things that happen. If you go up to the plate and you’ve struck out twice, you have to approach it like it’s your first at bat and your first swing,” said Wood. “You just have to learn from everything else.”

Lagging offense led to a 6-1 loss for the Celtics in their last preseason game against Canby High School Wednesday, April 9.

“Our energy just wasn’t very good, we came out flat,” Hays said.

Canby had a 1-0 lead when the Celts stepped back to the dish in the bottom of the third inning. Suing was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a hard grounder by Walker that went back to the pitcher. Suing scored on a single by Jordan Barchus.

McNary rarely threatened for the remainder of the game. Canby added to its lead with a pair of two-run innings in the sixth and seventh.

“We have to have a better approach at the plate,” Wood said. “We need to have everyone focusing on the game and watching the pitcher way before we go up to bat.”

Suing led at the plate going 2 for 2. Barchus went 2 for 4 with an RBI.

Travis Klampe pitched five innings for McNary allowing three hits and four runs. Suing closed out the game from the mound allowing three hits and two runs in two innings.

REI set to open May 2

Finishing touches are being done at the REI building in Keizer Station, set to open in early May. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Finishing touches are being done at the REI building in Keizer Station, set to open in early May. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

Looking for new outdoor gear in Keizer?

If so, here’s some good news: the REI store in Keizer Station is about to open.

Washington-based REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) already has several stores in the region but none in the Salem-Keizer market. That will change early next month as Salem REI opens at 6035 Ulali Drive NE, the former Circuit City building.

“The opening date is May 2 and we will have a variety of grand opening activities May 2 to 4,” said Bethany Hawley, senior public affairs associate with REI.

Circuit City closed its store in March 2009. Since January 2010, the Keizer Soccer Club had been using the building as the Futsal Center, with the understanding they would leave if a new tenant came in.

That finally happened last fall, as REI submitted plans to convert the building.

The conversion included adding 1,735 square feet to the back of the building, making it 22,165 square feet total.

A VIP community reception is taking place at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 1, with the public opening the next day. Juan Quintero will be the store manager.

“We are thrilled to open a store in Salem and look forward to partnering with your community,” Quintero and REI CEO Jerry Stritzke said in a statement.

REI is a retail cooperative founded in 1938. The Keizer Station store will have gear and clothing for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, travel and more. It will also have a bike shop, with a full range of services.

For more information on the store and upcoming events, visit

With the opening at Keizer Station, REI will have five locations in the greater Portland area, with the next closest being in Tigard.

City leaders have been waiting for the opening since the news came out last October.

“This is certainly not only good, but it shows some panache,” Keizer mayor Lore Christopher said at the time. “This is something we always wanted Keizer Station to do. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”