Putnam continued tough in Northwest Oregon Conference baseball last week, defeating Wilsonville 4-2 early in the week, and following that up with a two-game sweep of St. Helens, 5-1 and 6-1.

The Kingsmen (9-5, 5-1) and Sherwood (8-6, 5-1) were tied for first place in the NWOC heading into play this week.

“We’ve got a really good group of kids,” said Putnam coach Jason Stanley. “They’ve got character. They work really well together, and it’s paying off — so far.”

The Kingsmen last week showed plenty of character. They rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to beat Wilsonville, and they trailed 1-0 heading into the sixth inning of last Friday’s game with St. Helens.

“We hit the ball hard all through the game, but at first it was right at people,” Stanley said of last Friday’s 6-1 win over the Lions. “We found the holes in the sixth and seventh, and broke it open.”

Trace Loehr ignited the fire in the sixth, reaching as a hit batsman, and then promptly stealing second base. Dylan Knoth singled and Josh Bancroft plated Loehr with an infield groundout, and it was a 1-1 tie.

Martin singled, and the Kingsmen owned a 2-1 lead.

The floodgates opened in the seventh. Eamon Gallagher, hitting in the nine spot, singled. Then it was back to the top of the lineup, where Loehr doubled and Knoth singled to plate Gallagher. Bancroft brought another run across with a timely base hit. Alex Martin drew a walk. Sam Booth followed with a run-scoring single, and Nick Edwards followed with a run-scoring groundout.

Kyle McCuin pitched a complete game, striking out four, walking one, scattering four hits and allowing no earned runs.

The Kingsmen crushed the ball for 12 hits, led by Knoth (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Loehr (2-for-3, 2 doubles), Bancroft (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Booth (2-for-4).

Timely hitting told the story in the 5-1 win over the Lions. The Kingsmen got outhit 8-7 in the game, but they made their hits count.

Putnam scored two runs in the first frame on base hits by Knoth (2-for-3) and Bancroft (2-for-2), and a two-run double by Martin.

The Kingsmen added three more runs in the last of the fourth, scoring with two down on walks by Gallagher and Matt Schwietz, and back-to-back doubles by Sean Deford and Loehr.

Braynden VanWormer and McCuin teamed up to get the job done on the mound.

VanWormer pitched the first six frames, striking out six, walking two and giving up eight scattered hits. McCuin made it three-up and three-down in the seventh, retiring the side on strikeouts.

The Kingsmen supported their pitchers with error-free defensive play.

The Kingsmen bounced back after a rocky start in their 4-2 win over the Wilsonville Wildcats.

The Cats put two unearned runs on the scoreboard in the first two innings, but they went scoreless the rest of the way.

Putnam tied things up in the third inning. Loehr walked, advanced on a passed ball, and scored with one down on a base hit by Knoth. Martin followed with a run-scoring base hit to left.

Loehr brought the winning run home in the bottom of the fourth. Jesse Countrymen singled, advanced on a base hit by Schwietz and a wild pitch, and scored on Loehr’s sacrifice fly to deep center.

The Kingsmen added an insurance tally in the sixth. Nick Edwards reached as a hit batsman, advanced on a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt by Countrymen, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Schwietz.

Martin pitched a complete game, striking out four and walking two, while allowing three hits and no earned runs.

The Kingsmen were to meet Sandy (6-8, 3-3) in a three-game series this week, hosting the Pioneers on April 22 and on Friday.

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