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Cavaliers, Kingsmen off to a blazing start

BASEBALL: The two teams go 5-0 to start their 2007 baseball campaigns

Clackamas and Putnam have both launched the 2007 high school baseball season in impressive fashion.

Both teams entered play this week with 2-0 records in Three Rivers League play and 5-0 records on the season.

The Cavaliers defeated Lakeridge 9-2 and Milwaukie 5-4 in last week's league openers; the Kingsmen blanked Milwaukie 7-0 and upended Lakeridge 30-9.

The Kingsmen have really fired up their offense this spring. They've outscored teams from Barlow, Lincoln, Grant, Milwaukie and Lakeridge by a combined tally of 72-11 in their first five games - with three shutouts.

The Cavaliers have outscored opponents from McMinnville, Centennial, Wilson, Lakeridge and Milwaukie 38-15.

Clackamas and Putnam meet for the first of three times on Wednesday, April 11, at Putnam.

The Cavaliers nearly let last week's game with Milwaukie get away from them. Trailing 5-4 in the top of the seventh, Milwaukie had runners on second and third with no outs.

Corey Davis was the hero for Clackamas. The junior reliever pitched the last two innings, striking out five batters while allowing no hits and no runs. He gave up an intentional walk and fanned three batters in the seventh frame.

Senior Derek Davis pitched the first five innings, striking and seven, while scattering three hits and allowing no earned runs.

'I thought our pitchers did a very good job,' said Clackamas coach John Arntson. 'But we need to get better defensively.'

The Cavaliers committed four errors. They spotted the Mustangs four runs in the fifth inning on one single, two walks and two errors. Derek Davis had two strikeouts in the inning.

The Cavaliers made their hits count, scoring three runs in the second inning on four hits, and two more runs in the third on a hit batsman, a walk and a two-run single by Nick Struck. Struck (2-for-3) was the only Clackamas batter to make contact for more than one hit.

The Cavaliers put Lakeridge away early, scoring six runs in the first inning. But they also struggled defensively in that contest, committing five errors. Both Lakeridge runs were unearned.

Clackamas pitchers Struck, Derek Davis and Jake Nolte combined for six strikeouts in a 4-hitter.

Jon Walters (2-for-2, 2-run single), Alex Luchak (2-for-4, RBI-single) and Derek House (2-run single) headed Clackamas' offense.

Clackamas and Putnam return to league play next Monday. The Cavaliers host Oregon City (2-3, 0-1), while the Kingsmen entertain West Linn (3-2, 1-0).