Lake Oswego scores twice in the seventh inning to fend off Tigard 2-1

by: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego's Tyler Coleman celebrates after belting the game-tying RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning against Tigard. For more than six innings, the Lake Oswego baseball team had images of last year's shocking first round exit running through its head on repeat.

Last season, the Laker's offense, which had been inconsistent for much of the year, simply couldn't come up with a big hit and fell in a pitcher's dual.

This year, the line-up has been more productive, particularly down the stretch, but it appeared that the Lakers would once again be done in by another strong pitching performance and an offensive blackout cropping up at the worst possible time.

Lake Oswego trailed from the second pitch of the game until one out in the bottom of the seventh inning against Tigard.

Jordan Horak was masterful in his first postseason start but a solo home run yielded to the first batter of the game was all of the scoring in the contest through six innings.

Lake Oswego scattered hits throughout the game but Tigard's ace failed to allow many hard-hit balls and buckled down with two outs to keep the Lakers at bay.

“Tigard did a nice job. The few balls we hit hard were right at guys,” coach Jake Anders said.

Horak gave up just five hits in the contest and seemed to get stronger as the game progressed. He loaded the bases with two outs but got the next batter to line out in the top of the sixth, preserving the 1-0 game.

In the bottom of the seventh, Lake Oswego was still confident that it could break through.

Harrison Reece led off for the Lakers and single on an 0-2 count to get the rally going. He would then advance to second base on a sacrifice by Danny Oyama.

Tyler Coleman then doubled to deep centerfield for the biggest hit of the day, bringing in Reece to tie the game.

“Once we scored, it took the pressure off and I knew the game was over,” Anders said.

The Lakers kept their momentum going when Jack Kjemhus singled to put runners on the corners with one out.

Tigard opted to load the bases intentionally, walking Jack Anderson.

Horak then came to the plate and grounded a ball to third base. After a bobble, the third baseman attempted to touch his base and then threw to first but Horak beat the throw and the winning run scored on a very close play for a walk-off victory.

For the Lakers, the win felt like a weight off their shoulders.

“The expectations in this program are kind of ridiculous. We've only had one first-round exit since I've been here and that was last year and the kids feel it a little and we feel it as coaches,” Anders said.

The team was scheduled to take on Central Catholic on Wednesday, which scored an upset over Tualatin, but results weren't available at press time.

“If our bats get hot, I'd put us up against anybody,” Anders said.

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