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Lake Oswego pounds rival 18-2 to earn a share of league title

Mitch Verburg and Cooper Cheetham homer as the Lakers move to 13-2

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lake Oswego's Matt Voelzke slides into third base with a triple during Friday's game against Lakeridge. Voelzke was also the winning pitcher in the contest.The Lake Oswego baseball team won the rubber match of its rivalry series with Lakeridge on Friday and clinched a share of the Three Rivers League title in the process.

After dropping a tough 2-1 decision to the Pacers earlier in the week, just the Lakers’ second loss in league play this season, the team’s bats provided Matt Voelzke with support to spare in an 18-2 pounding.

Jake Dukart had a monster day for Lake Oswego, tallying four hits from the lead-off position and scoring four times as well.

“He’s been great for us all season. As our lead-off guy, he’s the catalyst for our team,” Lake Oswego coach Jake Dukart said.

Dukart got the Lakers started in the top of the first with a lead-off single. After stealing a base and scoring on Brendan Hawes’ groundout, Mitch Verburg hit a solo home run to make it 2-0.

Voelzke was solid on the mound for the Lakers, throwing six strong innings and giving up just one earned run.

The Pacers got on the board in the bottom of the third when Clint Smith singled in Matt Sporre but Lake Oswego would blow the game open in the top of the fourth.

Jonas Lamont and Dukart each singled with one out and Voelzke followed with a two-run double.

He would score one batter later on an RBI single from Hawes. After Sam Haney singled and Cooper Cheetham walked to load the bases, Dawson Jarmillo hit a high pop-up to shallow left field and the Pacers couldn’t come up with, scoring two more runs and it was 10-1 after Lakeridge got out of the inning.

“We’re just focusing on getting better each game. We swung the bats well today and had a better approach at the plate,” Anders said.

Lake Oswego poured it on the in the fifth. Once again, it was Dukart to get things started with a one-out single. Voelzke followed with a triple down the left field line and Hawes singled to pick up another RBI.

After a single by Aiden Prentcie, Cheetham belted a home run off the scoreboard in right-centerfield to make it 15-1.

Tommy Andrew plated Beau Bryant for a Lakeridge run in the bottom of the sixth but that would be all the Pacers could muster in the way of a rally.

Lake Oswego scored three more times in the seventh to complete the rout. The Lakers now hold a two-game lead over West Linn in the standings with a two-game series with Sherwood in front of them.

“All we can do is focus on ourselves and then things like the league title will take came of itself,” Anders said.

Lakeridge closes out its regular season with two games against West Linn.