LO baseball controls its own destiny
It would seem as if the hardest part of the Lake Oswego baseball team's quest for a league championship is over. The Lakers know that, if they win out, they will likely finish in a tie with West Linn but, having beaten the Lions in two out of three games previously, they would earn the league's top seed in the playoffs.
Lake Oswego finished a sweep of Oregon City last week and then survived a sub par performance against Putnam's top pitcher on Monday, winning 2-1.
Now the Lakers just need two more victories over the last-place Kingsmen and one more against Milwaukie to earn that coveted No. 1 seed.
On Monday, Jared Van Hoon willed his team to victory, tossing a complete game on the mound and driving in the winning run.
Van Hoon scattered seven hits, giving up just a solo home run to earn the victory.
Lake Oswego's line-up struck out nine times against Putnam which was a season-high as the team failed to convert on the majority of its scoring chances.
'We just didn't convert at the plate. It wasn't a great game for us but we've played in enough close ones that we know how to win games like that,' Laker coach Jake Anders said.
In the fourth inning Nik Torkelson doubled and Brian Zinsmeister followed with an RBI double to plate the pinch runner, Ryan Attridge.
The score remained tied 1-1 until the seventh inning. Jeff Kremer led off in the top of the seventh with a single and Michael Wesner followed with a single of his own.
That brought up Van Hoon who came through with the decisive sacrifice fly to the warning track.
In the bottom of the ninth, Putnam's lead-runner reached base on a bunt single but Van Hoon picked him off to end the threat.
'It was good to get away with a win but we just can't let teams hang around like that against us,' Anders said.
That victory followed a 14-3 win over Oregon City last Wednesday and a 6-1 win over the Pioneers on Friday.
In Friday's game, Craig Mooney pitched a gem for the Lakers to earn the victory. The game was scoreless until the third inning. Then Lake Oswego broke it open.
The big blast came from Moto Asai, who belted a three-run home run to plate Van Hoon and Slade.
'Moto came up big for us. We're not really a home run team but he hit the ball well and it came at a big spot,' Anders said.
Nick Rulli later scored on a passed ball in the inning.
That would be all the offense the Lakers needed as Mooney pitched a complete game to pick up the victory.
Lake Oswego's pitching depth has keyed its success so far this season which should bode well for the team in its remaining three league games and in the playoffs.
'The key for us is to continue to play good defense and pitch well. For some reason we haven't played great baseball the last few Mondays. The reality is we have three games left and we're either going to be league champs or we're not. But the guys know how important that No. 1 seed is and they want it,' Anders said.