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Laker baseball team strives for consistency

LO has reloaded and ready to defend its league title


The Lake Oswego baseball has reloaded yet again and has aspirations to contend for another Three Rivers League crown and avenge a stunning early postseason exit last year.

The Lakers return a healthy contingent from last year's team and feature a solid mix of juniors and seniors with experience around the diamond.

In the rotation, Lake Oswego is led by veteran pitcher Travis Sanders, a returning all-league hurler.

Lefty Jordan Horak will also start for the Lakers, coming off a strong summer and Tyler Coleman and Harrison Reece will also get starts.

Senior Jack Kjemhus should also get important innings out of the bullpen.

Pitching and defense will be a focal point for the Lakers as always. Lake Oswego expects to have a strong defensive squad but, in a loss this year to McNary and a win over Putnam, the Lakers combined to commit nine errors.

“That's pretty uncharacteristic for us. It's not really a concern right now. We have some guys who are just joining the team from basketball and it's just about getting that repetition in practice,” coach Jake Anders said.

Lake Oswego's line-up should also be extremely formidable this year. The Lakers were dangerous last year but occasionally struggled to string key hits together. Anders doesn't expect that to be as big of an issue this spring.

“I think our line-up will be more consistent than it was last year. Our guys have a good approach,” Anders said.

A year of adjusting to the new bats around the state should also help the Lakers.

“That should make a difference. The guys know that if they don't square up the ball, they're not going to be very good hitters,” Anders said.

Mitch McLaughlin returns to catch for the Lakers this year after splitting time at the position in 2012.

Lake Oswego's infield is seasoned with power-hitting Reid Penny as first base, Sanders at second, Harrison Ramey moving to shortstop and Harrison Reece manning third base.

In the outfield, Anderson will anchor things in centerfield, flanked by Horak and Coleman while Kjemhus, Kenny Oyama and Oscar Stout will fill utility roles.

The Laker line-up features few if any weaknesses and should be able to both hit for power and manufacture runs win necessary.

“The games will dictate how we play. We have guys who can drive the ball but we'll have to play smart and do what we need to do to win games,” Anders said.

Lake Oswego will take on some strong competition in the preseason before gearing up for what could be one of the most competitive Three Rivers Leagues in years.

“Our league is so brutal. Clackamas is loaded and the defending state champs from Oregon City return almost everybody. Since 2004, a team from the TRL has won the state championship five times,” Anders said.



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