By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary’s baseball season got off to a rocky start.
The Celtics were held to one hit in an 11-0 five-inning loss to Roseburg on Monday, March 12.
“We need to get a lot better,” McNary head coach Larry Keeker said. “I thought our at bats weren’t that bad the first time through the lineup against this guy (Zack Mandera). I thought we had some pretty good AB’s out of guys. We just didn’t have much to show for it. We had some balls that were hit pretty well. We just missed them or hit them at people.”
The Celtics fell behind early after Roseburg scored four runs in the top of the first inning on a walk, three infield errors and a wild pitch.
McNary senior Collin Wentworth delivered the Celtics only hit of the game in the bottom of the first.
Senior Carl Rumbaugh, who started on the mound for McNary, walked and then hit a better to begin the second. A double them gave the Indians a 6-0 lead.
Rumbaugh’s first start of the season ended after pitching a scoreless third. He allowed four walks, two hits and recorded two strikeouts.
“Carl didn’t have a typical start,” Keeker said. “Usually he’s a lot more reliable in terms or being around the zone and obviously when he did get some ground balls for us, when you don’t make the plays, we’re giving them extra outs. The reality is we’re going to have to get much better on the hill and we can’t afford that many errors. So we’re going to have to play better defense. Our pitchers, they’re not the kind of staff that are going to strike a bunch of guys out so we have to play defense.”
McNary got a runner on base through a walk or hit by pitch in the second, third, fourth and fifth but couldn’t drive them home.
In relief, McNary senior Lance Becktel pitched a perfect fourth, getting two ground balls to Wentworth at shortstop and a fly ball to right field. But Becktel ran into trouble in the fifth, starting the inning by hitting a better and then allowing an infield single and base hit to left field.
Becktel got a ground ball to third for a force out at home but two more infield errors followed by two hits led to five more runs.
Robert Benson worked a one-out walk in the bottom of the fifth but the Celtics hit into a double play to end the game.
Mandera pitched all five innings for Roseburg.
“That pitcher that we faced has been a starting pitcher for them for three years and has been really good in their league,” Keeker said. “He wasn’t a guy that was dominant but he certainly was around the zone most of the time and he forces you to put the ball in play, which we did and they were just able to play defense behind him.
The Celtics are back home Friday, March 16 against Willamette.
“It was a disappointing start but there’s a long way to go,” Keeker said. “We’ll bounce back. I have confidence in these guys.”