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Putnam is back on track


The Kingsmen sweep Wilsonville, split with St. Helens

Last week was a good week for Rex Putnam High School baseball, as the Kingsmen put three of four Northwest Oregon Conference league games in the win column.

The Kingsmen battled, and bagged a pair of games from Wilsonville last week, defeating the Wildcats 12-4 on April 8, and winning a 2-1 barnburner on April 9. And they split with St. Helens, blanking the Lions 8-0 on Friday, after losing 3-1 on Thursday.

The April 9 game with Wilsonville went 10 innings. Nick Parr plated the game-winner with a one-out single in the bottom of the tenth.

Justin Wyler drew a walk to lead off the tenth and advanced to second on a balk. Following an intentional walk to Nick Edwards and a flyout, Parr pounded the ball up the middle, scoring Wyler from second for the hard fought win.

Evan Lochridge pitched a gem in the victory, going the distance on the mound. The senior right-hander struck out six, walked no one and hit one batter, while scattering eight hits, in 10 complete innings.

Lochridge threw a lot of strikes and his pitch count was only 104 for the 10 innings.

The Kingsmen got only two hits off of Wilsonville ace Clayton Gelfand (12 strikeouts, 3 walks in eight innings), who was co-league pitcher of the year in 2012. But they took advantage of Gelfand’s control problems in the early going, and they supported Lochridge with error-free defensive play.

Trace Loehr led off Putnam’s half of the first inning with a base hit. He then advanced all the way to third base on an overthrow on an attempted pick-off. With two down, he then scored Putnam’s first run on a wild pitch.

Wilsonville tied things up in the top of the third, scoring its only run on a double, a sacrifice bunt and a base hit.

Putnam defenders turned three double plays. In the fourth inning, Loehr fielded the ball at shortstop and threw the ball to Dylan Knoth at second, who fired it to Max Bailey at first for a double play that ended that inning.

In the sixth inning, Knoth fielded a line drive and tagged a base runner for an unassisted double play. And in the eighth frame, Loehr fielded a grounder, tagged second base and threw to Bailey for a double play.

“The kids played great defense,” Putnam coach Jason Stanley said. “Wilsonville had players in scoring possession on all three double plays.... We didn’t compete at the plate, but we made the plays when we needed them. And Evan pitched a great game.”

The Kingsmen stung the ball for 13 hits and scored in all but two innings in their 12-4 win over Wilsonville.

Eli Skiles headed up the offensive onslaught with two triples, a single, five RBI and two runs scored in three at bats. Skiles had a two-run triple in the fourth inning, when the Kingsmen broke a 3-3 deadlock with three runs. And he came through with a bases clearing triple in the fifth stanza.

Other leading hitters included: Knoth (3-for-5, 2 runs), Loehr (2-for-3, 2 runs), Lochridge (2-for-5, triple) and Wyler (2-run double).

Putnam (6-8, 3-3) hosts Sandy (8-7, 4-2) this afternoon, and the Kingsmen play Sandy on the road on Friday.