The good news was that West Linn held a strong-hitting Lake Oswego team to just eight runs in a three game series. The bad news was that the effort was only good enough to win one of three games.

'We figure we should have gone 2-1. Against a good teams you have to get those close games,' coach Mike Lord said.

After dropping a heartbreaker 5-4 to kick off the series, the Lions rebounded in the second game with a solid 8-0 victory.

Once again, Lake Oswego struggled to get much going against West Linn's pitching. This time it was Reed Nicholson who kept the Lakers at bay.

Nicholson threw five shut out innings for West Linn and the Lions built an early lead. But this time, West Linn would hold on to it.

Eliot Smith came on to pitch the sixth and seventh innings in relief for West Linn, closing out the game. Lake Oswego, a team that has started to make a habit of staging late-inning rallies, didn't have any magic this time around on the Lions' home turf.

That set up an important rubber match between the teams. The loser would find itself with some work to do in order to crawl back up the league standings.

Spencer Flores took the mound for West Linn against Lake Oswego's Craig Mooney in what turned out to be a pitcher's dual.

And, on this afternoon, Mooney would min. The Laker hurler tossed one of the best games of his career and the Lions could only muster three hits in the entire game. That's a fairly remarkable stat when you consider that West Linn possesses one of the most dangerous line-ups in the state from top to bottom.

Lake Oswego got on the board in the first inning and then score again in the fifth and sixth innings to put the game away.

Jack Simon had West Linn's only RBI with a two-out single in the second inning.

'Jack's come up big for us. He's had a couple of two-out singles for us in last week,' Lord said.

Flores was solid for the Lions through four innings as were Ryan Barnes and Smith in relief but West Linn simply couldn't figure out a way to solve Mooney.

'We put the ball in play but just couldn't get anything going,' Lord said.

The loss dropped West Linn to 3-2 in league but, on the bright side, the Lions won't face Lake Oswego for the rest of the regular season.

Next up for West Linn, after it completes a two-game set against Lincoln, is a series with Oregon City.

The Pioneers recently completed a sweep of Lakeridge and currently sit atop the league standings along with Clackamas and a sweep, or even a series victory, would help the Lions make up some ground.

It's difficult to tell just exactly how good the Pioneers are this year as four of the team's five league wins have come against teams that have yet to pick up a victory in the Three Rivers League this season.

The Lions still feel good about where the team is at at this point in the season.

In West Linn's most recent game, the team drubbed Lincoln 9-0 behind an outstanding performance on the mound from Kyle Kraus.

Kraus struck out 11 batters and only gave up three hits in six innings of work as the Cardinals were never in the game.

Offensively, West Linn worked out some of its aggression after the final Lake Oswego contest, belting 11 hits. Kyle Connolly was 4-for-4 in the game while Smith had a three-run double in the fifth inning to break the game wide open.

The Lions take on Lincoln at home today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m. All of West Linn's game against Oregon City will take place at 6:30 p.m.

Next up

West Linn vs. Oregon City

Three game series starting Monday, April 14.

First and third games at WLHS, second game at Oregon City.

All games times are set for 6:30 p.m.

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