The Lions remain as one of the best defensive squads in the league, but can't contain Rex Putnam
The St. Helens baseball squad ran afoul of league-leading Rex Putnam, dropping the second game of their series with the Kingsmen and continuing a two-game slide with a 6-1 loss on Friday evening.
The Lions held Putnam scoreless for much of the game, taking a lead in the fifth inning. Josh Keller took advantage of an error to reach first base, and stole second with Tyler Stangland at the plate. Stangland delivered, doubling to left field and scoring Keller to put St. Helens on top 1-0.
That's when the Kingsmen, ranked seventh in the state and allowing the fewest runs of any team in the Northwest Oregon Conference, finally clamped down. Putnam loaded the bases on the first three-at bats of the sixth inning, driving home Trace Loehr to tie the game, and jumping ahead on an RBI single from Alex Martin.
The Lions' offense was once again stifled in the bottom of the sixth, and Putnam had still more tricks up their sleeves. Dylan Knoth singled to center field in the top of the seventh, scoring Eamon Gallager and Loehr, running in to score a few moments later and giving the Kingsmen a 5-1 lead. Sam Booth batted Martin home, and though St. Helens got Ryne Poorman and Josh Henningsen on base in the bottom of the seventh, the Lions couldn't find paydirt.
Rex Putnam has now won their last five contests, including a sweep of Wilsonville (6-8, 4-2 NWOC) and a split with Sherwood (8-6, 5-1 NWOC) ahead of their two wins over St. Helens.
The Lions will have another tough opponent to face in their next series in No. 10 Sherwood. The Bowmen are tied with Putnam for the league's best defense, allowing just 3.64 runs, and are the best in the NWOC in scoring, having put up 94 runs in 14 games. St. Helens, though they fall far below on the offensive side of the diamond, come in just behind Putnam and Sherwood in defense with 3.84 runs through 13 games. First pitch in the series will be on Tuesday, April 22 in St. Helens at 4:30 p.m., with the second leg continuing at Sherwood on April 23.
Note: Though St. Helens remained as the home team, the game was moved to Alder Creek Middle School, the home field for Rex Putnam.
Previously: St. Helens falls 5-1 to Putnam
Putnam 6, St. Helens 1
Alder Creek Middle School
PUTN 000 002 4 – 6 12 1
STHE 000 010 0 – 1 5 1
Hits (5): Keller, Tangland, Mulcahy, Poorman, Spencer
RBIs (1): Stangland
Runs (1): Keller