Corvallis – Sometimes, everything just plays your way and other times nothing can go right no matter how hard you try. For Jackson Gatchett, Saturday couldn’t have went any smoother or better short of a perfect game or a no-hitter. Thanks to this, West Salem D1 is headed to a state championship game Sunday afternoon.
After taking down Silverton 3-1 on Friday, West Salem entered Saturday’s semifinals against Summit looking to keep chugging along. Gatchett kicked the game off with a leadoff single, advancing to third on a wild pickoff throw. Gabe Fletcher would hit into an RBI fielders choice, getting West Salem up 1-0 in the first. Marshall Brey ripped a leadoff triple in the second for the Titans, coming home on a Andrew Nadeau sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 after two innings.
The game remained 2-0 entering the fifth when West Salem blew this one open with an offensive explosion. After a balk and with runners on the corners with two outs, Gatchett scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. Brey followed up with a bloop RBI single in left field, extending it out to 4-0. Nadeau, John Kenny, and Andrew Todd all got consecutive hits to eventually blow open a 7-0 lead all on a two out rally.
Summit would eventually get on the board in the sixth, getting a couple of runs in the final two innings and a small momentum shift but the Titans would cruise to the 8-4 victory and advance to the state championship game on Sunday against the winner of Saturday’s West Albany-Churchill semifinal.
West Salem Coach Taylor Blair said that while impressive, Gatchett’s performance is an expectation, “