Clackamas nearly goes unbeaten in four games

BOULDER CREEK, Ariz. - Clackamas High School's baseball team had a successful spring break, winning three of four games in competition with teams from Colorado and New Mexico.

They earned wins over Columbine, Colorado (6-3), Artesia, New Mexico (11-2) and Lewis Palmer, Colorado (6-2). And they gave Rampart, Colorado a run for its money in a 6-5 loss.

'I was pleased,' said Clackamas coach John Arntson. 'I thought all of our pitchers threw very well. They threw strikes and hit their locations. And we finally got our bats going.'

The Cavaliers rallied for five runs in the sixth inning in their 6-3 win over Columbine.

They strung four hits together with two walks and a hit batsman in the big inning. Ben Parsons and Ben Wetzler both rapped two-run singles and Nick Struck (2-for-3) helped his own cause with a run-scoring double.

Struck went the distance on the mound, striking out eight and walking one, while scattering five hits and allowing only two earned runs.

The Cavaliers stung the ball for 14 hits in their 11-2 rout of Artesia.

Jake Nolte went 3-for-4 at the plate, with a two-run home run.

Corey Davis (2-for-4) also had a round-tripper.

Wetzler (2-for-4, 3 RBI) and Kyle Banuelos (2-for-4) both pounded out two-run doubles.

Ryan Cook went 2-for-4 and scored two runs.

Wetzler and Justin Luchak pitched, striking out seven, walking three and scattering seven hits.

The Cavaliers scored four times in the top of the eighth to steal their 6-2 win from Lewis Palmer.

'We faced a heck of a pitcher,' said Arntson. 'He was a big lefty who's got a full ride to Washington State. There were around 20 [pro] scouts there and every time he threw a pitch their arms went up with a radar gun.'

The Lewis Palmer ace retired 14 Clackamas batters on strikes in six innings, but the Cavaliers drove him from the mound in the top of the sixth, when they scored two runs and claimed a 2-1 lead.

Lewis Palmer got a run back in the bottom of the seventh, but the Cavaliers cranked up their bats for four runs in the top of the eighth to earn the victory.

Davis was sharp on the mound, striking out 12, walking no one, and scattering five hits in 5-2/3 innings. Struck finished up, earning two strikeouts, while facing only four batters.

'I think Corey matched their guy pitch-for-pitch,' said Arntson. 'He did a great job locating his fastball, and he had control of his curve, dropping it in for strikes.'

The Cavaliers hammered the ball for four hits in their extra-inning rally.

Nolte led off with a double, Struck singled and Parsons drew a walk to load the bases.

Cook plated two runs with a double, and Banuelos followed with a two-run double to put the game on ice.

Davis, Struck, Cook and Banuelos had two hits apiece in an 11-hit offensive attack.

The Cavaliers helped Rampart out in their 6-5 loss to that Colorado team.

'We made five errors,' said Arntson. 'We gave the game away.'

Only one Rampart run was earned.

Nolte (2-for-3), Spencer Weaver (2-for-3) and Jon Walters (2-for-2) led the Cavaliers to a 10-8 edge in hitting.

Nolte ripped the ball for a two-run home run and a run-scoring double.

They Cavaliers (5-3, 1-1) have a three-game series scheduled with Milwaukie (5-4, 0-2) this week. They play at Milwaukie this afternoon, and they entertain the Mustangs on Friday.

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