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Lion nine opens season with win

St. Helens scores runs early in 4-2 win over 6A Glencoe at Hillsboro Stadium
by: John Brewington OFF BASE—St. Helens’ Tyler Stewart was called out while touching an out-of-place base Saturday.

The St. Helens Lions finally jump started their season with a game against 6A Glencoe at Hillsboro Stadium early Saturday morning.

Like most teams in the state, the Lions hadn't been able to get in any games because of the unseasonable, rainy weather over the first week of the season.

It was sunny, but cold-just 39 degrees-when the Lions' Brad Ivy threw the first pitch of the game.

Glencoe would score a run off a single and double in the first inning, and add another run in the second. It wouldn't be enough.

The Lions got three runs in the first inning. One came when Tyler Moss reached base after striking out, and then scored on a double by Sam Hatch. An Austin Porter home run blast to right center scored two more. Glencoe maintained the ball bounced over the fence, but the officials ruled a homer.

'We've been robbed that way of two home runs,' St. Helens coach Tim Lokken said, referring to last season. 'So I feel they owed us one.'

St. Helens added their fourth run in the third when Stewart reached base on a single, stole second, and scored on a single by Ivy.

Lokken said the Lions were more than ready to play. 'The kids were so ready for that game it wasn't funny. 'We'd only been outside twice since practice started.'

He was pleased with the full seven-inning showing of Ivy. 'He's one of those pitchers that start slow. They scored their runs early then he shut them off.' Most of the hits Ivy gave up came early, but then he struck out the side in the fourth inning and didn't allow a run the rest of the way.

Lokken felt the Lions' offense will only get better as the season progresses. 'We got the lead and sat on it a little bit. A little more time and we won't be sitting on it (the lead).'

Tyler Stewart was two for two at the plate with a walk on the day and scored twice in the contest. Porter, Sam Hatch, and Wyatt Mosley each went one for three. Lokken thought the Lions had nine or 12 hits on the day.

The Lions had a little controversy when Stewart was called out after appearing safe on a slide at third. The base dislodged on the turf field and Stewart over slid taking the base with him past the normal position. Lokken said the officials admitted they missed the call after the game.

Still, the Lions posted the win. It was an especially gratifying win for St. Helens after they lost a three-game series to then league foe Glencoe last season.

St. Helens was off to Southern Oregon this week for two doubleheaders on Thursday and Friday against Phoenix and Taft. They'll play each of those teams on consecutive days.

The games are at the U.S. Cellular fields, an all-turf complex. The players have to use special artificial turf shoes in the contest.

The Lions are scheduled to play at Aloha on Tuesday, March 29, and then host McNary on March 30 and Pendleton, April 2.