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Road trip continues for LO baseball

by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego’s Jared Van Hoon shows off his sidearm delivery during last Friday’s game at Clackamas. The Lakers won the game 8-2 as Van Hoon pitched a complete game while limiting the Cavs to four hits. After that game, Lake Oswego added a pair of wins against Lakeridge, which ran the Lakers’ league record to 6-2 and their overall mark to 9-5 and none of the those were played at home as construction continues on Lake Oswego’s new turf field.

Who needs a home field who you play as well on the road as the Lake Oswego baseball team does?

The Lakers have played 14 games so far this season, including eight in league play, and none of them have been at home. Lake Oswego has been forced to play all of its games on the road so far because of ongoing construction efforts to turn the Lakers' home baseball field into a turf field.

Construction crews were hoping to have work completed by Friday but inclement weather could make that forecast impractical. But the work is guaranteed to be completed by next Friday, April 27, Lake Oswego coach Jake Anders said.

Despite the frustration of not having a home field to play on, the Lakers have played extremely well recently. The last week was especially productive, aside from the rain-outs.

Because of the weather and a quirk in scheduling, Lake Oswego wound up playing Clackamas on back-to-back days and then Lakeridge in consecutive games. And the Lakers won all four of those contests, improving their league record to 6-2, which left them just one game behind first-place West Linn.

That run started off with last Thursday's 5-3 victory over the Cavs. Bennett Frazier had a big day, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a home run. He also pitched a complete game while striking out six batters.

Alex Freeman also had a big day at the plate. He was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. He got things started with a solo shot in the first inning. Then Mike Wesner pushed the Lakers' lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the third.

In the fourth, Jared Van Hoon doubled, Jeff Kremer singled and Freeman knocked them both in with a double to make the score 4-0. Clackamas closed the gap to 5-2 in the fifth, but Frazier added an insurance run in the fifth with his solo homer.

The Cavs had the tying runs on base with one out in the seventh, but the game ended when Wesner caught a line drive at first and then doubled off a runner at second.

The Lakers had a much easier time the following day when Van Hoon pitched a complete game four-hitter to lead the Lakers to an 8-2 victory.

Freeman once again played a starring role on offense while going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Kremer added three RBIs.

The Lakers were back in action on Saturday when they claimed an 8-4 victory against Lakeridge.

The Lakers got all of the runs they needed when they scored five times in the first inning. That included Cooper Mandelblatt's two-run double (which scored Freeman and Matt Stutes), an RBI single by Wesner and a RBI grounder by Duncan White. Wesner wound up being the team's hitting star as he went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.

Craig Mooney pitched six-plus innings to earn the victory and Tom Banta got the final two outs to close out the victory.

Lake Oswego then followed that game with a 17-9 victory over Lakeridge on Tuesday. Meanwhile, it almost seems that the weather has been Lake Oswego's biggest opponent so far this season.

'It's been real frustrating,' Anders said. 'We're just trying to make the best of it until we get our own field.'