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Day: April 30, 2014

Celtics win two by skin of teeth

Celt Matt Aguilar heads for home plate on a sacrifice bunt by teammate Mickey Walker in the contest with McKay High School Friday, April 18. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celt Matt Aguilar heads for home plate on a sacrifice bunt by teammate Mickey Walker in the contest with McKay High School Friday, April 18. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

After being dealt a 4-1 loss by the West Salem High School Titans on Tuesday, April 15, the McNary High School varsity baseball team rebounded to eke out two wins in tight contests.

“When you win close games, it builds confidence. It’s up to our team to remember what that feels like so we can overcome when those situations happen again,” said Larry Keeker, McNary head coach.

The Celts got the first run of the game with West, but it was also the team’s only one.

Jacob Wood was walked to start the game and advanced to second on a sacrifice fly by Mickey Walker. Wood rounded the bases on a single by Hayden Gosling and McNary went up 1-0.

Despite 17 first-pitch strikes in a complete-game effort, the Titans made the most of their five hits on pitcher Jordan Barchus and walked away with the win.

McNary returned to the field the following day to host the Sprague High School Olympians and the teams duked it out for 12 innings before Barchus singled to left field driving in Jacob Vasas for the 3-2 win.

“We were just trying to battle up and compete the best we could and that’s what we did,” said Celt Travis Klampe. “We had good defense down the stretch and shut them out after their last run.”

Sprague had a 2-0 lead when McNary got its turn at bat in the bottom of the third inning. Wood scored on a double by Walker to right field to cinch up the score to 2-1. In the next inning, Connor Goff doubled to left field, scoring Barchus and tying the game.

Klampe struck out two in a row in the top of the ninth inning with runners of second and third, putting the kibosh on Sprague’s best shot at winning. Three innings later, Tim Hays got the team started with a double and Barchus ended the game with his walk-off single.

“We had a stretch when neither team scored any runs, but we toughed it out and got the win,” Gosling said. “Our offense is starting to come around now, but we have to keep hitting and and keep getting stronger on defense.”

Barchus went 3 for 5 at the plate with two doubles and an RBI.

The Celtics’ game with McKay High School Friday, April 18, was more a matter of toughing it out after taking an early lead.

McNary got its first run in the bottom of the third when Matt Aguilar scored on a sacrifice bunt by Walker. The Royal Scots tied the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the frame, Hays scored on a bases-loaded walk, Tristan Mistkawi and Vasas scored on a single by Wood, and Aguilar scored on a sacrifice Walker to take the 5-1 lead.

Gosling, as catcher, caught a runner stealing home in the bottom of the seventh. A ground out by the next batter ended the game.

Despite the confidence that comes with close wins, Klampe hoped the team could keep its focus on the present.

“We have to take it one game at a time and give it our all,” he said.

Keeker said the team would do well to acknowledge its strengths and build on them.

“We’re not the type of team with so much talent that we can walk on the field and beat somebody. We have to know who we are and play to our strengths,” Keeker said.

There’s no such thing as too much cowbell

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By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

There are plenty of events for runners next month.

But if running isn’t your thing, there is still an opportunity for live music – provided by you.

Christine Dieker, executive director of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce, gave an update on the 27th annual Iris Festival presented by Silverton Health at the April 10 West Keizer Neighborhood Association (WKNA) meeting.

Iris Festival officially kicks off May 1 with the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, with most events taking place May 15 to 18.

In addition to the parade on May 17, there will be runs galore.

Over the course of two days there will be a Kidz 3K, a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon and a full marathon.

“Starting at 7 a.m. there will be a full marathon,” Dieker said. “This is the first time in the region we’ve had a full marathon. I expect probably 100 participants. If we had that many, I would be happy.”

Dieker said the runs will go down Windsor Island Drive, with the full marathon going down 13 miles before turning around and coming back along the same route.

“These participants will be on the road,” Dieker said. “It would be helpful if cars are not on the road. If you care to and have skills as a musician or want to play your favorite music, it’s great for runners to have entertainment. You can also wave, bang pots and pans or whatever else you’d like to do. Any help you would like to offer or give, we’d appreciate it.”

In other recent WKNA business:

• Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, explained road work projects city staff will be doing this summer within the WKNA boundaries.

“We are planning to rebuild Shoreline Drive from Cummings Lane to Wayne Drive,” Lawyer said. “This will be replacing the sidewalk and pavement. We can’t just resurface, because it’s too bad. We have to rebuild it. Work will include replacing the curbs and sidewalks, updating stormwater catch basins and a new driving surface.

“The sidewalks will be widened to five feet,” he added. “The existing sidewalks now vary from three feet to four feet wide. We also have to bring everything up to current ADA (American with Disabilities Act) standards.”

Lawyer said the road width itself will remain at 30 feet, while there will be ADA compliant drop ramps at all intersections.

“We designed it to match what’s already there as much as we can,” Lawyer said. “Existing curb heights are matched, to impact property owners as little as possible. We will go to bid in the next three weeks, get those back in May, start in July and it should be done in 90 days.”

Lawyer noted there are also some resurfacing projects being done this summer.

“We try to resurface each year to prevent roads from falling into Shoreline’s condition,” he said. “We’re putting nine roads out to bid; six are in your area. We’re hoping we can get these projects done so we focus on big roads like Cherry and River in the future; big, expensive projects that will take up all of our budget for one or two budget cycles.”

• Due to an event at the Keizer Civic Center, this month’s WKNA meeting was held next door at the Keizer Heritage Center. The next WKNA meeting will be held Thursday, May 8 at 7 p.m. at the civic center. That is expected to be the last WKNA meeting until September.