Lake Oswego upsets Sprague 5-2 in first baseball playoff
The Lake Oswego baseball team was an obvious underdog on Monday.
And they were.
Lake Oswego got a first-inning solo homer from Sam Haney, a shutdown pitching performance from Alex Giroux and used those to upset the Olympians 5-2 at Sprague High School.
"Sam's homer was big," said Lake Oswego coach Jake Anders. "Just to get up on them early like that made a big difference."
The win lifted Lake Oswego's season record to 12-16 and sent the Lakers on to face 12th-ranked Portland Interscholastic League champion Lincoln (19-9 overall) on Wednesday after the Review's press deadline. With a win there, the Lakers would advance to face the winner of Wednesday's Roseburg at Beaverton contest on Friday; in either case, Lake Oswego would be the visiting team.
Entering Monday's game, the Lakers had had gone just 1-4 in their final five league games and finished just fourth in the Three Rivers play, while the Olympians came in as Greater Valley Conference runners-up and 23 slots higher in the state rankings.
But none of that mattered.
Sprague starter Cody Vestal stepped up to strike out the first two batters he faced, but third hitter Haney slammed the first pitch he saw for a home run to right field and a 1-0 lead the team would not relinquish.
Giroux was perfect through the game's first three innings, collecting three strikeouts in that stretch and giving his offense time to get back in gear.
That's just what the Lakers did in the top of the fourth, pushing across two more runs to lead 3-0. Giroux got things started with a single, advanced on a hit by Dawson Jaramillo and scored on a single to left by Ben Shimota. Next batter Matt Grimm bunted pinch runner Timmy Hanson — running for Jaramillo — over to third and he scored on Harrison Bridwell's fly ball.
Sprague broke through for its first run in the bottom of the frame, getting a leadoff single from Max Long, a Lake Oswego error that allowed Long to reach third and a sacrifice fly from Will Deloretto.
The Lakers answered in kind, with freshman Thomas Dukart leading off the top of the fifth with a homer to right field that extended Lake Oswego's lead to 4-1. Sprague cut the gap to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Will Rawlings was hit by a pitch, advanced on a Vestal single and scored on an infield hit by Jake Reece.
Giroux steadied himself there, however, struck out the next two batters he faced and got the third to fly out to escape further damage.
The Lakers then added one more run in the seventh to seal their victory, getting three straight singles from Thomas Dukart, Matt Sebolsky and Jake Dukart for the final 5-2 margin.
Giroux threw all seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and no walks while striking out five.
"Alex pitched a heck of a game," Anders said. "We couldn't have asked for a better performance from him."
Jaramillo went 3 for 3 at the plate, Thomas Dukart was 2 for 3 with two runs scored and one RBI, and Sebolsky was 3 for 4. For Sprague, Vestal threw 6 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on 11 hits and no walks while striking out five.