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Baseball team is rockin' and rollin'

Baseball prevails in dramatic fashion once again, this time vs. the Scots of David Douglas High School
by: Michael Cade, Sandy's Eugene Wright eyes home plate from the confines of third base.

PORTLAND - Wow.

That's all that needs to be said after the Sandy Pioneers pulled out another impressive conference win in dramatic fashion on Friday, April 20.

Down 4-2 to host David Douglas after six innings, the Pioneers could have mentally folded and returned to Clackamas County with the knowledge that they played OK vs. impressive Scots pitcher Jake Lauderback.

Lauderback, who has bounced in and out of the junior varsity and varsity lineups all season, was in command throughout much of the contest and looked like he was on his way to a solid 'W.'

But as the seventh inning neared, there were signs that Lauderback's arm was tiring. And additionally, the Scots defense was starting to look a tad sloppy.

That's when the Pioneers made their move.

Catcher Chris Houle stepped up to the plate with Jake Fenwick on second base and Jordan Elliott on first.

Houle proceeded to blast off a three-run homer vs. relief pitcher Trent Gollehar that catapulted the Pioneers to a 5-4 lead they would never relinquish.

It was a startling turn of events that seemed to leave the Scots and their fans completely deflated.

But afterwards, David Douglas coach Mike Fitz was more than willing to give credit where credit was due.

'They all swing it good,' he said of Sandy's batters, noting that the talent on the Pioneers' depth chart runs pretty deep. 'They get a lot of good looks.'

Sandy's Jake Fenwick - who relieved pitcher Ryan Miller in the bottom of the fifth inning - earned the win and was happy to contribute from the mound.

'I like the whole pressure coming in to it,' Fenwick said. 'I kind of felt like it was all on my shoulders. I didn't have the greatest game at the plate, so I kind of felt that way, I could pull myself out of it and have a chance to contribute to the team.'

In the end, Fenwick said the Pioneers did what was required of them when it mattered most.

'We didn't really have our best day today,' he said. 'It was scary. It was really tough but at the very end, we just did what we had to. We made the plays when we had to.'

Sandy coach Garet Luebbert was humble enough in winning to give plenty of credit to Lauderback and his solid day.

In fact, Luebbert thought there was a good chance that Lauderback would have merited player of the game honors had fatigue not done the young pitcher in.

'I was all prepared to go tell their coach after the game - after it was all said and done and we got the loss with two runs - that he did a heck of a job. He'd be the star of the show.'

Instead, Luebbert's talented pupils came through in the clutch like they've been doing all season long and victory was ultimately theirs.

'It feels so good,' Fenwick said.

Next game: The 5-3 Pioneers - coming off a 3-2 loss to Centennial on April 23 - travel to Hood River on April 25.

Game time is 4:30 p.m.