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Heating up summer

Dr. Barney's backs up its strong regular season by sweeping past Clackamas
by: Miles Vance READY TO RUMBLE — Dr. Barney’s pitcher Reza Aleaziz hopes to lead his team all the way to the 2011 OIBA tournament championship. The tournament started yesterday and continues through Sunday.

Dr. Barney's is determined to make believers.

Dr. Barney's, Southridge's OIBA baseball team, entered the summer season with a remade lineup after saying goodbye to 12 seniors from its 2011 spring roster. Just the same, Dr. Barney's went out and won the OIBA's Lolich Division, then swept past Clackamas on Friday and Saturday in its best two-of-three seeding series.

Dr. Barney's hammered Clackamas 13-0 in five innings Friday night at Southridge High School, then won 6-4 on Saturday at Clackamas High School. Clackamas was the runner-up from the Olin Division.

'Clackamas is pretty good … but we prevailed,' said Dr. Barney's coach Don Fitzgerald. 'It should give us some good momentum going into the tournament.'

Dr. Barney's opened the 16-team, double-elimination OIBA championship tournament against Century - the fifth seed from the Pesky Division - last night (Wednesday) at Lakeridge High School. With a win there, Dr. Barney's would face the Lakeridge vs. Central Catholic winner at 6:15 p.m. today (Thursday) at Lakeridge; with a loss on Wednesday, Dr. Barney's would face the Lakeridge-Central Catholic loser at 12:45 p.m. today.

Dr. Barney's 13, Clackamas 0

BEAVERTON - Dr. Barney's left absolutely nothing to chance in its Friday opener against Clackamas.

The team poured across seven runs in the bottom of the first inning against Clackamas starter Nick Hays, tacked on five more in the second and used that edge to roll to the five-inning victory.

'It definitely gave me a motivation boost, and we don't want to let go of a lead,' said Dr. Barney's pitcher Reza Aleaziz, who no-hit Clackamas for four innings, allowing just three walks while striking out one. 'We knew we had to come out and get this first game and put the pressure on them for game two.'

'It's definitely helpful to see all our guys hitting and make sure we get all the run support for our pitcher,' added catcher Tanner Green, who went 2-for-3 at the plate with a homer, scored twice and knocked in two. 'Especially these last few weeks, we've really been swinging the bat well.'

In that seven-run first, Dr. Barney's got doubles from Jacob Zanon, Green, Corey Pool and Alec Powell, and a three-run homer to right field from Steve Width. The team scored big again in the second, with Green hitting a leadoff homer to left, RBI singles from Aleaziz and Powell, and a run-scoring double by Zanon to lead 12-0.

'We've gotten clutch hits, timely hits, and we've had four walk-offs this year in the seventh inning,' Aleaziz said. 'Our hard work has paid off.'

'It's been one through nine - all of our guys are getting at least one hit in every game,' Green added.

Zanon went 3-for-4 in the win, and Width finished 1-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs.

Dr. Barney's 6, Clackamas 4

CLACKAMAS - Clackamas was much tougher in game two, however, and Dr. Barney's didn't pull ahead until midway through the contest.

Indeed, the two teams were tied at 2-2 after three innings and Clackamas was entertaining thoughts of forcing a third game in the series. But Dr. Barney's pitcher Kevin McClean made sure that didn't happen.

McClean, who pitched his team through six innings and scattered eight hits, stepped up in the top of the fourth inning and hammered a three-run homer that pushed his team in front 5-2.

Dr. Barney's added a sacrifice fly to extend its edge to 6-2, then handed the ball back to Aleaziz after Clackamas scored two runs on errors to close within 6-4. Aleaziz did the rest, striking out the first two hitters he faced, then getting a fly ball to end the game two batters later.

'A lot of people underestimate us because we lost a lot of seniors, but we're a young group of guys and we're trying to work together,' Aleaziz said.

'We felt like we needed to step up since all our seniors are gone, and since we've stepped up, we've done really well,' Green added.

In addition to McClean's heroics, Width went 2-for-4 at the plate in the win.