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Fraziers no-hitter leads LO to first-round victory

Baseball
by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego’s Bennett Frazier delivers a pitch during last Friday’s 1-0 win over Franklin. Frazier tossed a no-hitter in the game and narrowly missed hitting a home run.

Runs are never easy to come by in the playoffs. The Lake Oswego baseball team discovered that fact the hard way when it was held to three runs in two playoff games.

That included Tuesday's second-round 4-2 loss to North Medford, which knocked the Lakers from the playoffs.

Clearly the best memory of this year's post-season came in Friday's 1-0 victory over Franklin - a game that featured a no-hitter by Bennett Frazier.

'Boy, he did what we needed him to do, and that was come in there and not let guys get on base,' Lake Oswego coach Jake Anders said of Frazier's effort.

For the record, Frazier did walk one batter, plus he hit another and a third batter reached on an error. But no one from Franklin really came close to getting a hit.

'Well, that's a pretty good day,' Anders said. 'When it comes to the playoffs, your big-time players have got to step up, and he did that today.'

The Quakers, who entered the game with a losing record, also got a good pitching performance from lefty Scott Burris. He limited the Lakers to three hits.

The only run he gave up came in the second inning after Michael Wesner reached on a two-base error by the center fielder. Then, a passed ball moved Wesner to third. One batter later, Jared Van Hoon brought Wesner home with an RBI groundout to the shortstop.

It wasn't exactly the type of slugfest that Lake Oswego often found itself on the right side of during the Three Rivers League season.

'We had a pretty decent approach at the plate. We just didn't come out real aggressive,' Anders said of the Franklin game.

The Lakers nearly picked up two more runs in the bottom of the third, but it came down to an umpire's decision that kept those runs off the board.

With Cooper Mandelblatt on first, Frazier hit a blast down the left field line. There was no question whether the ball would clear the fence. In fact, it even cleared the net above the fence. But the home plate umpire said it curved foul at the last moment. Frazier and Anders both saw it differently.

'I'm not so sure that it wasn't (fair),' Anders said. 'But it's one of those things where I'm not going to sit there and argue a bunch with the umpire. It wouldn't do us any good.'

'I personally thought it was fair,' Frazier said. 'I thought it went around the pole. It was a close call, and either way I guess you can't really be wrong.'

Fortunately, that would-be homer didn't end up being the difference in the game. Frazier saw to that by mowing down virtually every batter he faced.

During a game, pitchers typically don't like to think about the possibility of throwing a no-hitter. But Frazier didn't care.

'I can't say I didn't know (it was happening),' he said after the game. 'I was aware of it. It's kind of something that lurks in the back of your mind.

'But it wasn't my top priority. I just wanted to make sure they didn't get any runs,' he continued.

Frazier kept the Quakers off-balance with a good assortment of well-placed fastballs and some hard-breaking sliders.

'I was just hitting my spots and the defense played great,' Frazier said. 'It wasn't that difficult when all things are working, I guess.'