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Cavs make mark in OIBA

Putnam advances to third round, and Oregon City plays big games
by: Miles Vance Second baseman Cooper Mickelson has had a phenomenal season of summer baseball for Clackamas High School. The senior-to-be was the Cavaliers’ leading hitter, with a .474 batting average and a team-leading 27 runs scored through play July 23. Mickelson got a run-scoring bloop single to left in the key fourth inning against Jesuit last Saturday during the 16-team Oregon Independent Baseball Association tournament. He ended the season at .449, and the Cavs advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

The Cavaliers lost only to the winner of the biggest summer baseball tournament this past weekend.

The Clackamas High School team fell to Central Catholic in the tournament quarterfinal, three games after also losing to Rams. It was a double elimination tournament, so the teams played until racking up two losses.

Aside from losses to the Rams, the Cavs tore up the 16-team Oregon Independent Baseball Association State Championship Tournament at Lakeridge and Sunset high schools Wednesday through Sunday. Clackamas and Oregon City teams faced off in their tournament opener on Wednesday.

The Cavs shut out the Black Sox 4-0. Oregon City then fell to Westview 5-0, but the tournament gave a chance for the young Black Sox team to see plenty of action and learn from the competition.

'We grew a lot as a team this summer,' said Oregon City coach Brian McCoy.

Clackamas defeated the always-competitive Tualatin in a nail-biter, 2-1. Once losing for the first time to Central Catholic, Clackamas tore up the losers bracket by knocking out Jesuit and McMinnville in quick succession on Saturday. The game against McMinnville was a 5-0 shutout, while Clackamas trounced Jesuit by the same margin, 9-4.

But the biggest game was undoubtedly against Tualatin, where lefthander Justin Jones allowed only three hits during seven innings.

'We played really good defense behind him,' said Clackamas coach John Arntson.

The key double play came from right fielder A.J. Peterson with no outs in the bottom of the sixth, when the bases were loaded and Peterson, after catching a fly ball, threw out a Tualatin player trying to steal home. Aaron Ahlstrom, sophomore-to-be, did an outstanding job pitching as well as playing defense as shortstop. Clackamas will contend fora tournament win again if it keeps up its work ethic.

'We're really young-we've got six kids who are going to be sophomores and five who are going to be juniors, with good senior leadership,' Arntson said.

Leading hitter Cooper Mickelson's season came in at .449. Garrett Myers hit .395, Cade Wilkins .346 and Nick Hays .327. All four players will be returning to the team next year.

Taylor-Putnam

Taylor-Putnam also made a strong showing by surviving as the last 5A team in the tournament.

Taylor-Putnam played strong against Sunset in a 7-6 opener, beat Barlow 8-5 and finally lost to Tualatin 12-2. Mason Dunning, who will be a senior at Putnam, had two-run home run against Barlow.

Taylor-Putnam scored all eight runs in one inning, more than making up for its three-run deficit at that point in the game.

Dunning, and juniors-to-be Max Bailey and Justin Wyler, were also the big sticks qualifying Taylor-Putnam for the tournament, all hitting homers this summer. West Linn is known as a pretty good baseball school, but Putnam beat them two out of three games last weekend.

'They did me proud,' said head coach Jason Stanley.

Putnam lost to Tualatin after falling behind in errors and following an injury of key pitcher Evan Lochridge.