A little over a week ago the West Linn baseball team was struggling to score runs and the offensive slump saw the Lions drop two of three games to Lake Oswego.
In the team's next three games, the Lions outscored their opponents 43-5 including Monday's 21-5 shellacking of Oregon City. In that game West Linn pounded out 25 hits which coach Mike Lord believes is a school record.
'We'll take it. After Lake Oswego these were nice games to have,' Lord said.
The onslaught of run support was a welcome sign as pitcher Kyle Kraus wasn't as dominant as he has been in recent games. Kraus gave up five runs in six innings and struck out four batters. Eliot Smith pitched the seventh inning for the Lions.
'Kyle didn't have his best stuff but he battled through it. I'll take him with average stuff over almost anyone else,' Lord said.
Kraus made his biggest contribution from the plate, however, going 4-for-4 on the evening.
The Lions got off to a quick start in the game when Ryan Barnes led off with a solo home run in the bottom of the first. West Linn led 2-0 before Oregon City came back with four runs in the top of the second inning.
But the course of the game changed dramatically in the third. Kraus recorded a perfect inning in just four pitches and the Lions exploded for seven runs in the bottom half of the frame on five hits and three walks.
Kraus alone had two doubles in the inning. Jake Hysell also had a two-run double in the inning.
Oregon City got one run back in the top of the fifth but West Linn scored four in the bottom of the inning to put the game away.
The Pioneers went through eight pitchers in the game and there weren't many who fooled the Lions' hitters. West Linn scored eight more runs in the sixth inning as the team easily claimed the first game of the series.
Barnes and Justin Monahan each had three hits in the game and scored four runs. Jack Simon was 4-for-5 with another clutch two-out RBI in the game and Mitch Halverson was 2-for-2.
'We got good production from the bottom of the line-up which was good to see,' Lord said.
Oregon City saved its top pitcher for later in the series as it looks to steal at least one of the next two games. A sweep of the Pioneers would put the Lions right back at the top of the league.
West Linn played Oregon City on Wednesday and will take on the Pioneers on Friday at home at 6:30 p.m.
West Linn's next series will be against Milwaukie, a team that is currently 2-6 in the Three Rivers League.