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Pacers host annual Firecracker Tournament

Lakeridge goes 3-1, only falling to eventual champion Westview

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Tommy Andrew threw a shutout in Lakeridge's opening game at last week's Firecracker Tournament. The Pacers went 3-1 at the eventThe annual Firecracker Tournament at Lakeridge High School went off without a hitch once again this year, bringing in some of the tops teams in the state along with some national and international competition.

The Pacers were blessed with some outstanding weather and some terrific baseball from start to finish.

“There were some really great teams and it came down to a great battle,” coach Marco Tavera said.

Lakeridge went 3-1 in the tournament with its only loss coming against eventual champion Westview 4-2 in a game that Tavera felt the Pacers could have won.

The Pacers opened the tournament with a stellar pitching performance from Tommy Andrew. He threw a two-hit shutout in a pitchers’ duel with McNary, staking Lakeridge to an early victory.

In the second game, incoming sophomore Reece Smith was equally effective in five strong victories, putting Lakeridge in position to advance from its pool.

But Westview, one of the top programs in the state in the past few years, was able to avoid giving up the clutch hit and edged out the Pacers, eventually rallying to best West Linn 2-1 in the championship game.

“We only had seven hits in our first two games. We just couldn’t pick our pitchers up,” Tavera said.

The tournament continues to be heavily anticipated for many teams in the area and, this year, had a four-team waiting list.

Lakeridge is having a solid summer and is 3-3 in league. Tavera is pleased with his young pitching and at the leadership role his new seniors have take on.

“We’ve had a handful of guys really step up so far. We’re learning what it’s like to play for each other and how to be competitive,” Tavera said.

Lakeridge hopes for a strong close to the summer season in the next few weeks to be able to qualify for the postseason in late July.