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Beavers lead, but fall to LO 5-3

Jordan Spencer homers, but LO's four-run fifth powers its 5-3 victory
by: Vern Uyetake HOMER HITTER — Beaverton’s Jordan Spencer is congratulated by teammate Will Taylor last week.

LAKE OSWEGO - One big inning was enough.

Enough for Lake Oswego's baseball team to get past Beaverton in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs, and enough to end the Beavers' promising 2011 season too soon. The Lakers beat the Beavers 5-3 at Lake Oswego High School on May 25.

'I thought we played well, well enough to win,' said Beaverton coach Derek Nekoba, whose team finished at 16-11 after taking fourth place in the Metro League. 'That's the disappointment - we were capable of doing more.'

The Lakers, the Three Rivers League champions, advanced to the state quarterfinals on Friday and lost to Westview 4-0. They ended their year at 22-7.

While Beaverton ended up on the wrong end of the final score, the Beavers struck first in the game. While Alex Cornwell got thrown out at the plate in the top of the first inning, Will Taylor reached base on a fielder's choice, stole second base and scored when Jordan Spencer doubled off the fence.

LO got singles from Tyler Campbell and Grant Taylor in its first at-bat, but Beaverton starter Myles Richard induced a double play to end the threat.

The Lakers then tied the game in the bottom of the second, with Brock Pellow and Austin Gallagher drawing walks off Richard and Michael Stroble doubling home Pellow to make it 1-1.

Beaverton reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth when Spencer hit a long home run to straightaway center field to make it 2-1, and Richard came very close to replicating that feat. He belted a pitch toward deep centerfield as well, but Pellow, the Laker center fielder tracked the ball and made an over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track near the 400-foot sign to save what likely would have been a triple.

Beaverton added another run in the top of the fifth, getting a one-out single from Tucker Spooner, an Alex Cornwell walk, and a Mitch Allen single to load the bases. Taylor then hit a single to score Spooner, but Cornwell was thrown out at the plate - a play that would come back to haunt the Beavers

LO pitcher Will Waterman intentionally walked Spencer to load the bases, then got out of the jam by getting Richard to ground out.

'Tacking on a couple more would have been big,' Nekoba said. 'I still don't know why I sent (Cornwell). It was one of those momentum shifters.

Lake Oswego's offense finally came to life in the bottom of the inning. Leadoff hitter Jack Anderson got the rally started with a single, moved to second on a passed ball and then to third on a fly out. Grant Taylor followed with an RBI double, and after Taylor Sanders walked, Harrison Ramey hit a game-tying RBI single through the infield.

Pellow then came through with a sacrifice fly, and Kyle Cameron added an RBI single to chase Richard from the game and give LO a 5-3 lead.

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 on a line drive and Taylor on a fielder's choice, intentionally walked Spencer again, then got Richard on a pop-up to end the game.

'It would have been nice to go on a little run like in 2004,' Nekoba added. 'We couild have done a lot.'

- Matt Sherman and Miles Vance contributed to this report.