The Lake Oswego baseball team's season came to an end last week when No. 1 Westview broke open a scoreless game in the sixth inning to secure a 4-0 victory.
The Lakers' Brock Pellow and Westview's Phil Belding traded zeros through five frames but an error to lead off the bottom of the sixth paved the way for a four-run innings which was all the offense the Wildcats would need.
The game might have ended differently with a slight change in the turn of events in the top of the first. Scoring opportunities were few and far between for the Lakers but they loaded the bases with one out in the first.
Harrison Ramey came to the plate and hit a fly ball to the outfield. It appeared deep enough to score the runner from third but a perfect throw to the plate nailed the Laker runner, ending the threat.
"That was a momentum changer. I feel like if we had scored there it would have changed the complexity of the game," coach Jake Anders said.
After that, Belding settled in which forced the Lakers to get aggressive in its attempt to manufacture runs.
"We tried to run when we had guys get on base and (Westview) made the plays. They took us out of a lot of innings and those decisions are on me as a coach," Anders said.
Pellow, after throwing a complete game in a win on Monday and picking up a save in Wednesday's victory over Beaverton, was rock solid again for the Lakers, giving up just two earned runs while going the distance in defeat.
"Obviously the kids are disappointed because we felt like we really had a chance to go in and pull the upset," Anders said.
On Wednesday, one big inning was enough for Lake Oswego to get past Beaverton to advance to quarterfinals. The Lakers scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to rally for a 5-3 win.
Will Waterman was solid in the biggest start of his high school career, pitching into the seventh inning before yielding to Pellow who put his mark on the game in a number of different ways.
Pellow not only shut the door on the Beavers in the seventh inning, he also made a remarkable catch in deep centerfield and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.
Beaverton struck first in the game. Alex Cornwell led off with a double and was moved to third on a ground out by Mitch Allen. Will Taylor then hit a ground ball to third base. Cornwell took off for home and Max Gabriel threw him out at the plate.
Taylor would steal second base and Jordan Spencer would drive him in with a double off the fence.
"The one thing I said before the game was that Jordan Spencer wasn't going to hurt us. I wanted to put him on in the first but I didn't get the sign in in time," Anders said.
Lake Oswego got singles from Tyler Campbell and Grant Taylor in the bottom of the first but a double play ended the threat.
The Lakers tied the game in the bottom of the second. Pellow and Austin Gallagher each drew walks off of Beaverton's Myles Richard and Michael Stroble would score Pellow with an RBI double.
Beaverton reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth when Spencer hit a long home run to straightaway centerfield. Richard followed and belted a pitch toward deep centerfield as well.
Pellow tracked the ball and made a Willie Mays-style catch on the warning track near the 400-foot sign to save a likely triple.
In the bottom of the fourth, Richard seemed to be settling into a groove, striking out the side in what were the first strikeouts of the game by either pitcher.
Beaverton added a run in the top of the fifth. Tucker Spooner knocked a one-out single, Cornwell walked and Allen singled to load the bases. Will Taylor then hit a single to score Spooner but Cornwell was thrown out at the plate. Waterman would intentionally walk Spencer to load the bases but got out of the jam by getting Richard to ground out.
"Spencer is just heads and tails above everyone else in their line-up so that was a no-brainer to me," Anders said.
Lake Oswego's offense finally came to life in the bottom of the inning. Lead-off hitter Jack Anderson got the rally started with a single. He moved to second on a passed ball and then to third on a fly-out. Grant Taylor followed with an RBI double and Taylor Sanders walked. Those runners would each move up a base on a wild pitch before Ramey hit a game-tying RBI single through the infield.
"We just hadn't been getting the hits to fall but I felt like it was just a matter of time," Anders said.
Pellow then came through with a sacrifice fly and Kyle Cameron added an RBI single to tack on another run which chased Richard from the game. Jeremy Lipps entered the game and got out of the inning with one pitch.
Waterman worked around two walks in the sixth inning but then walked Cornwell to start the top of the seventh and was replaced by Pellow.
Pellow got Allen to line-out and Will Taylor hit into a fielder's choice. Lake Oswego then opted to put the tying run on base by intentionally walking Spencer again but the move paid off when Richard popped out to end the game.
Lake Oswego graduates four key seniors in Pellow, Stroble, Sanders and Austin Gallagher but returns what should be a potent line-up next year.
"It's going to be about reloading and not rebuilding again. We love the kids in our program right now. This summer we're going to be throwing a lot of our young arms into the fire," Anders said.