LO Big League team falls in regional semis
The Oregon Big League champion baseball team from Lake Oswego, coached by Kenny Cohen, competed in the Western Region Big League Baseball Tournament in Bremerton, Wash. from July 14-19. The Lake Oswego team won two games in the preliminary round against Arizona and Washington and lost one against Northern California.
In the semifinal round, Lake Oswego lost against second-place Hawaii, giving the Oregon team a tournament record of 2-2.
Oregon won its first game against Arizona 3-2. On the mound for Oregon, Tyler Coleman continued his dominance by pitching a complete game, striking out 13 batters. Coleman finished the week with the lowest ERA, the second most strikeouts, and the fifth best WHIP among all pitchers in the tournament.
At the plate, Oregon faced an Arizona State University pitcher, Austin McWilliams, who struck out six and held Lake Oswego to one run until the bottom of the seventh inning.
Oregons first run was the result of Colemans double and Wes Johnstons single.
The players respectively had the second and fifth best batting averages among all players in the tournament. Logan Wilson, who had the fifth most RBIs of the tournament, also singled in the first.
In the top of the seventh, Arizona scored two earned runs to take the lead. Oregon had a chance to widen the lead in the fifth inning when lead-off batter Jack Haney reached first base on a hit-by-pitch. In the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Michael Di Re singled to right field and Tyler Hock got to first on a walk. That set up Kenny Oyamas 315-foot double to the left field fence scoring two Oregon runs for the win.
The second competition saw Oregon beating Washington 10-8 in an error plagued game. Wilson started for Lake Oswego striking out four and giving up five runs.
Luke Van Lehman, primarily throwing a knuckleball, relieved in the fifth and sixth innings where he gave up three runs, struck out one batter and picked a man off first base for the win. Hock closed the game striking out the final batter.
At the plate, Van Lehman and Di Re each had two hits while Oyama, Drew Cohen, Johnston, Hock and Wilson each had singles. Di Res and Colemans doubles in the sixth inning each drove in two runs giving Oregon the lead and, ultimately, the win.
The third game of pool play resulted in Northern California defeating Oregon 11-6. Johnston started for Lake Oswego and Oyama, who had the tournaments best first-pitch strike percentage, relieved giving up three runs on six hits in five innings.
Di Re relieved in the fifth inning and closed the game, giving up one run on three hits. At bat, Coleman stole the show going four for five with a single, two doubles and a triple. This helped earn Coleman the tournaments best slugging percentage. Wilson hit a double and a single and Johnston had two base hits. Owen Van Lehman and Di Re each had singles. Oyama had two hits, including a RBI double to the 380 foot center field fence.
Oregons 2-1 record earned it a berth in the semifinal round against a competitive Hawaii team that split games against its pool play opponent Southern California, which was the runner up in the Big League World Series tournament in 2013.
At the plate for Oregon in the first inning, Oyama and Wilson singled setting up a two-run double by Coleman.
Coleman scored on the next at bat when Johnston singled to right field. In the third inning, Di Re singled driving in Coleman from second base, giving Lake Oswego the lead.
Although Steven Peeler singled in the fourth inning and Cohen hit a double in the fifth, both runners were left stranded on base. In the field, Luke Van Lehman had a fourth inning rally-ending diving catch on a long hit to right center. In the fifth inning, it was Hocks turn to make a diving catch on a ball hit to left field that prevented Hawaii from taking the lead.
Coleman again started for Lake Oswego giving up four runs on six hits and striking out two in five innings. Luke Van Lehman relieved in the sixth inning.
With the score tied four to four in the bottom of the seventh, Van Lehman gave up a hit to the lead-off batter who later scored on a fielding error giving Hawaii the win 5-4.
Hawaii advanced to the finals where the team lost to Southern California 7-2.
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