Versatile Pacers hope to contend in TRL
Strong pitching and defense should guide a strong Lakeridge squad this year
Versatility, depth and chemistry will define the Lakeridge baseball team this year. Coach Colin Griffin classifies his team as a bunch of grinders, noting that it's that type of player that is needed to compete in the rigid Three Rivers League.
The Pacers are carrying a small number on varsity this year but virtually everyone on the team can play multiple positions.
We were going through the depth chart the other night and it's really just a lot of fun, Griffin said.
That gives Lakeridge plenty of flexibility and potential match-up problems for the opposition.
Pitching should be a strength for the Pacers this year. Lakeridge returns senior Levi Rudolph as the team's Monday starter. The three-year varsity pitcher could be one of the top in the league this year.
Rudolph also doubles as one of the team's stronger hitters.
Sophomore Cooper Webster and Dutton Elske will be the team's other two starters and Griffin has confidence in his rotation.
Josh Lowry will also be featured prominently on the mound as the team's go-to reliever.
In what is somewhat of a rarity, all of Lakeridge's pitchers can all play in the field and are valuable in the line-up as well.
Lakeridge's offense will be paced by a trio of players who have all committed to playing college ball. Rudolph, Cooper Hummell and Hank Elliott will be the catalyst for a balanced line-up that features a mix of speed and power.
From top to bottom this is probably the most athleticism I've had on a team since I've been here, Griffin said.
With as much versatility as the Pacers have on the roster, defense should be another strength this season.
It's going to have to be with the pitching that the Three Rivers League has, Griffin said.
Lakeridge is off to a 2-0 start this year with victories over Southridge and Forest Grove and the team is working hard on its execution in practices.
We've been lucky with the weather so far and we're paying attention to the little things. We have guys who take pride in executing a hit and run and taking the extra base, Griffin said.
Lakeridge will travel to Arizona for a tournament over the break as it gears up to take on a very tough Three Rivers League schedule. Reigning state champion Oregon City returns the bulk of its roster while Lake Oswego and Clackamas are also expected to field very strong squads.
Our goal is to win league and I'm confident we can do it. Our seniors are leading the way right know, Griffin said.Add a comment