Salem Dark Horse In Wl League Race
BY ELDON BARRETT
SALEM, Ore., April 19—(UP) Despite a weakness in the pitching department, the Salem Senators of the Western International League today loomed as a dark-horse threat for pennant honors.
Despite a wholesale drafting of the 1948 squad by the parent Portland Beavers, the Senators have a potentially strong fielding and batting team.
Jim Wert, one of Salem's sharpest players, is signed for first base. Al Spaeter is holding down second, and Bud and Wayne Peterson alternate between shortstop and third sack.
The outfield consists of ex-pitcher Jim Olson, who was high on both the hurling and batting averages last year. He will handle rightfield duties. In left is Mel Wasley, obtained from the Central League. And Hill Beeson will be in the center garden.
The two Petersons, Olson, Wasley, Spaeter and Wert swing the big bats for the Senators. In one game with the University of Oregon early in April, Wasley blasted out four hits in five trips to the plate.
But in training games with Oregon college squads, the Senators made poor showings as far as pitching was concerned.
Manager Bill Beard is counting on Left Joe Ferluga, an 11-game winner with Amarillo, Tex. last season, to bolster the Senators' mound staff.
Other newcomers who may surprise the Solon management are pitchers Bill Osborn and Glenn Miller. Osbom, who boasts a good curve, comes to Salem via the trading route. Miller is a Portland rookie.
Other members of the Salem pitching staff who were with the team last year include Gene Peterson, Jimmy Foster, Bus Sporer and Ray McNulty.
Manager Beard and rookies Bill Courage and Frank Jarvis are expected to handle the catching job.
One thing that has the Salem management worried is the poor showing Portland started the PCL season with. When things go wrong with the Beavers, their management always cast longing eyes this way.