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Laker baseball moves into tie for first

by:  VERN UYETAKE 
Lake Oswego’s Jack Anderson, right, congratulates Max Gabriel during the Lakers’ victory over West Linn last Wednesday.

The Lake Oswego baseball team had its backs against the wall following its series opening loss to West Linn last week.

But with no margin of error remaining if they still wanted to win the league title, the Lakers responded, taking the next two from a West Linn team that had lost just one league game previously.

The series victory means that, heading into this week's Civil War series, Lake Oswego controlled its own destiny. A sweep of the Pacers would give the Lakers at least a share of the league title.

"Nothing's for certain. We were in the same situation last year and ended up dropping a game," Lake Oswego coach Jake Anders said.

On Wednesday, Lake Oswego jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, getting five runs in the top of the second inning.

Laker pitcher Will Waterman didn't have his best stuff in the game but he gritted his way through six walks and eight hits and managed to toss a complete game, limiting the damage.

"Will struggled to find the strike zone a little and threw a lot of pitches but he gutted it out and it says a lot about him that he was able to stay in the game," Anders said.

The support Lake Oswego put up early was enough to sustain the team and the Lakers put things away with another three runs in the sixth inning.

Jack Anderson had three RBIs in the game and Max Gabriel belted a solo home run. Austin Gallagher added three hits to the effort as Lake Oswego's bats came alive.

Then, on a rainy Friday in the most important game of the year for both teams, Lake Oswego got a terrific pitching performance from Gallagher.

The Lakers have struggled to find consistency from their No. 3 starter at times this year but Gallagher has filled that role admirably down the stretch.

On Friday, he threw a complete game, keeping the Lions off the board through five innings and giving up just one earned run in a 6-2 victory.

Once again Lake Oswego was able to get on the board early, scoring two runs in the first and second innings.

"The key for us in that series was getting ahead as quickly as possible. In the first game we were never able to capitalize on our scoring opportunities," Anders said.

Anderson continued to be a spark leading off for Lake Oswego. He had two hits and a pair of RBIs while Harrison Ramey had two doubles and three RBIs.

Lake Oswego went up 6-0 and Gallagher was able to contain the Lions in the sixth inning, giving just two runs back as he held on to go the distance for the Lakers.

The Lakers then played their series opener with Lakeridge on Monday.

Brock Pellow threw one of his better games of the year, giving up just three hits in six innings of shutout baseball.

Lake Oswego's bats erupted early again. The team plated five runs in the second inning, highlighted by Tyler Campbell's blast over the centerfield fence.

Lake Oswego will close out its series with Lakeridge this week and will look to improve its RBI ranking heading into the playoffs by potentially taking on a nonleague opponent next week.