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Heartbreak in the last of the seventh

Tigers score four runs in the seventh to steal a 6-5 victory

Clackamas High School's baseball team dropped a heartbreaker in a May 22 Class 6A first-round state playoff game at Newberg, losing 6-5.

The Cavaliers were leading 5-2 when they gave up four runs - two of them unearned - in the bottom of the seventh.

Newberg only had three earned runs for the game, while all five Cavalier runs were earned. The Cavaliers outhit their hosts 9-7.

'It was a really gut-wrenching loss,' said Clackamas coach John Arntson. 'It's tough to lose when you're up 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh....

'But when you look back, and put things in perspective, the kids accomplished a lot this year. And they were a really good bunch of kids.'

The way the winning run was scored made the loss especially painful. The Tigers ran a first-and-third steal, and the Cavaliers overthrew their shortstop on the play, allowing the winning run to score from third.

The Tigers got their first two runners on in the seventh on a base hit and an infield fielding error. The runners stole around, and scored three runs on three consecutive base hits, knotting the score at 5-5. The first-and-third steal followed, and the Tigers celebrated the come-from-behind win.

Clackamas led the entire game, until the Tigers worked their magic in the bottom of the seventh. Newberg had only three hits in the first six innings.

Clackamas scored two runs in the first on base hits by Cooper Mickelson (2-for-3) and Geoff Houf (3-for-3) and a two-run triple by Austin Kelly (2-for-4).

Leading 2-1, the Cavaliers added two runs in the fourth. Aaron Ahlstrom reached with two down on a dropped third strike, Garrett Myers rapped a run-scoring double, Mickelson walked, and Hoff followed with a run-scoring single, putting Clackamas up 4-1.

Leading 4-2, the Cavaliers added a single tally in the top of the seventh. Mickelson crushed a triple, and scored on a passed ball.

Clackamas pitchers Ahlstrom, Justin Jones and Hays combined to strike out five batters, while yielding seven hits and five walks.

Three Newberg pitchers combined for two strikeouts, while walking three and giving up nine hits.

Clackamas finished the year with an overall record of 16-11.

Ranked 14th, Newberg (18-6) went on to beat 38th-ranked Century 8-5 in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

Looking ahead to next year, Arntson said, 'I'm excited! We've got a good core of kids coming back. I think the next couple of years are going to be good for us.'

Starting for Clackamas at Newberg were: seniors Mitch Dickey (catcher), Houf (first base), Mickelson (second base), Hays (left field) and A.J. Peterson (right field); juniors Jake Iverson (shortstop) and Kelly (third); and sophomores Myers (centerfield) and Cade Wilkins (designated hitter).

Senior Justin Jones and junior Luke Ehli both saw action as pinch hitters; senior Oliver Farnes was a pinch runner.