The Cavaliers battle, but come away with only one win

LAKE OSWEGO - Clackamas High diamond men battled tooth and nail with Lake Oswego last week in a three-game series between two of the Three Rivers League's top baseball teams.

The Cavaliers won only one game in the series, but with a break or two, they would have won the series.

'It was a playoff atmosphere,' said Clackamas coach John Arntson. 'Both teams played well. Both teams got good pitching. We just couldn't get the clutch hits, and we didn't get the breaks.'

Clackamas won the first game in the series 4-0, but the Lakers prevailed in the next two games, 4-3 and 4-2.

Arntson said the Cavaliers had a fly ball in the bottom of the sixth of Friday's 4-2 loss that typified his team's hard luck.

'We had a man on and Jon Walters hit a fly ball that hit the top of the fence in right field and dropped back in. Another inch and that's a home run and it's a 4-4 tie game.'

Lake Oswego's winning runs in the 4-2 win were a result of the Cavaliers' only error of that game.

With two down and the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Craig Mooney launched a line drive to the outfield. The ball got by Clackamas' outfielder and two runs scored, putting the Lakers up 3-1.

'It was a sinking line drive,' said Arntson. 'It short-hopped our outfielder. He misjudged it.'

Mooney and Jared VanHoon pitched for the Lakers, striking out three, walking three and yielding five hits.

Corey Davis and Nick Struck pitched for Clackamas, striking out seven, walking two, and giving up 10 hits.

Struck went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in both Cavalier runs.

Struck went the distance on the hill on April 7, when the Cavaliers topped the Lakers 4-0. The Cavalier ace struck out six and walked no one in a 3-hitter.

'Nick did a phenomenal job on the mound, keeping them off balance,' said Arntson.

VanHoon pitched for Lake Oswego, striking out three, walking two and allowing seven hits and only one earned run.

Clackamas scored its first run in the second inning when Ryan Cook and Ben Parsons executed a successful double steal.

Alex Pearson scored Clackamas' second run in the third inning when Lake Oswego's catcher overthrew third base on an attempted steal.

The Cavaliers strung three hits together with a Laker error in a two-run sixth inning.

Walters and Kyle Banuelos both had run-scoring singles in the inning.

Lake Oswego scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to steal the 4-3 victory. The Lakers had four of their seven hits in the inning.

The runs scored on a sacrifice flies by Brian Zinsmeister and Jeff Kremer, and on a double by Mooney.

'It was a heartbreaker,' said Arntson. 'They came through with the clutch hits, but I was proud of the way our kids played.'

The Cavaliers supported pitchers Ben Wetzler and Jake Nolte with error-free defense play. Wetzler pitched the first 6-1/3 innings, striking out five and walking two, while allowing four hits.

The Cavaliers reached Lake Oswego pitcher Moto Asai (8 strikeouts, 2 walks) for seven hits.

VanHoon contributed at the plate with a sixth-inning solo home run.

All three games were played at Lake Oswego, because of water in Clackamas' outfield. Through the Cavaliers' first 14 games they had played only one game on their home field and they had yet to play a home game in league.

Lake Oswego (8-6, 6-2) finished last week second to Oregon City (10-3, 7-1) in the TRL standings. Clackamas (9-5, 5-3) was in third place.

Clackamas was to face Lakeridge in a three-game series this week, hosting the Pacers this afternoon. Lake Oswego draws a bye from league play this week. The Lakers begin their series with Lakeridge next Monday.

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