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Cats bust open win over Pacers

Carson Kelly homers twice and knocks in five in the Wildcats' victory
by: Miles Vance CHUCK IT — Westview senior Sam Johnson prepares to release a pitch during his team’s 7-2 home win over Lakeridge in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Monday.

ROCK CREEK - The Wildcats knew it was just a matter of time.

Westview, the Metro League co-champion in baseball, was dead-even with Lakeridge at 2-2 after three innings of its Class 6A state playoff game at Westview High School, but the Cats knew their bats would wake up.

And wake up they did, in a big way, in the fourth inning. Junior shortstop Carson Kelly did the honors there, blasting a grand slam home run - his second homer of the game and 13th of the season - over the left field fence to help power his team's 7-2 win over the Pacers.

'We just had to come out and do our game,' said Kelly, who went 2-for-3, scored twice and knocked in five runs. 'We just wanted to consistent and get as many runs as we can, just keep piling them on.'

'We knew we were the number one seed, but we knew we had to come out and play our game,' added sophomore third baseman Kyle Henderson, who also went 2-for-3, scored twice and hit a solo homer in the fifth. 'We started a little slow, but we came out in the end. We know when to turn it on.'

The win lifted Westview's record to 23-5 and sent the team into a Thursday home game against Sheldon (18-10 and the second-place team from District 1 South). With a win there, the Wildcats would either host Lake Oswego or play at Beaverton in the Class 6A state quarterfinals on Friday. Lakeridge, the third-place finisher from the Three Rivers League, ended its year at 11-16.

While Westview won easily enough in the long run, Lakeridge kept pace early on, with pitcher Levi Rudolph holding Westview to two runs on four hits over the first three innings. Henderson scored his team's first run when he opened the second with a single, took second when Shane Suyama walked and scored on Yota Ishii's single.

The Pacers pushed ahead 2-1 in the top of the third, though, when Rudolph worked Westview pitcher Sam Johnson for a one-out walk, Spencer Pearl doubled, and both runners came home on Tylor Borgeson's double.

Kelly answered in the bottom of the frame with a solo homer to left off Rudolph, and the Wildcats then put the game on ice in the fourth. There, Tate Glasgow was hit by a pitch, Suyama doubled, and Donnie Bradley walked to load the bases. Rudolph got Phil Belding on a fly to left for the second out of the inning, but he wasn't so fortunate against Kelly - Kelly bombed a 3-1 pitch over the left-field fence to bring home all four runs and make it 6-2.

All that was way more than enough for the Oregon-bound Johnson. The senior right-hander allowed just three hits and no runs over the final four innings. For the game, Johnson allowed just five hits, one hit batter and no walks while striking out 11.

Henderson then tacked on a one-out solo shot to right field to close out the scoring.

'The last few innings we were all in it,' Henderson said. 'We were all hitting and everyone contributed.'

'Now it's … Barlow. That's what we're going to focus on,' Kelly said. 'We've got the momentum going for us now so hopefully it comes with us and everything goes well.'