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LO baseball wins playoff opener

by: VERN UYETAKE  Max Gabriel looks to haul in a throw to make a tag on a South Medford runner during Monday’s 5-2 victory.

The Lake Oswego baseball team got past its first postseason obstacle on Monday, grinding out a tough 5-2 win at home over South Medford 5-2.

The Lakers pushed across two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning to claim an early advantage but the line-up struggled to break the game opened against the Panthers' pitcher.

"He was a tough lefty that threw a lot of junk and we struggled adjusting to it," coach Jake Anders said.

But South Medford's offense also struggled against Brock Pellow. Pellow was solid, throwing a complete game with seven strikeouts.

He didn't give up a run until the top of the sixth inning when South Medford scored twice to make it a 3-2 game. Things could have been worse had it not been for a base-running mistake by the Panthers. On a short fly ball to right field with runners on second and third base, the runner on second took off assuming that the runner ahead of him would try to tag up. That allowed Lake Oswego to throw him out at second base to end the threat.

"It felt like we were in control for the whole game. We had runners on base almost every inning but it got a little scary there," Anders said.

Lake Oswego finally got some breathing room in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Mitch McLaughlin, who has primarily been with the JV team this season, came up to pinch hit and knocked a two-run double.

"We kind of have a logjam of players with the depth of our program but we have every confidence in the guys that we call on in the playoffs," Anders said.

The win advanced the Lakers into the round of 16 where they took on Beaverton at home on Wednesday.