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Cav hardballers continue on track

But the Lions give them a run for their money


by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Clackamas first baseman Jarrod Switzer fields a bunt in last Fridays barnburner with West Linn. The Cavaliers scored their winning run with two out in the bottom of the seventh and salvaged a 4-3 victory, their 20th win in 22 games this spring.The Clackamas Cavaliers last week continued as one of the hottest high school baseball teams in the state, running their season record to 20-2 and their Three Rivers League record to 11-1 with a three-game sweep of West Linn.

The Cavaliers meet Lakeridge (15-7, 8-4) this week in their final three-game series of the league season, hosting the Pacers this afternoon and finishing up at Lakeridge on Friday.

“With one win we can clinch a share of the title and two wins will give us the title outright,” said Clackamas coach John Arntson.

But Arntson cautioned, “Lakeridge is a very good team and they’ve been playing real well lately.... So we have to come ready to play. We’ve got to do a little better job of being consistent with our bats, finding ways to push runs across throughout a game....”

Two of last week’s wins over West Linn did not come easily. The Cavaliers prevailed 6-1 on May 1, but they had to go to eight innings to win 3-2 on April 29, and they needed a run in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3 on Friday.

Leading 3-0 through the first five innings, the Cavaliers nearly let last Friday’s game get away from them. West Linn scored two runs in the top of the sixth on two walks, an overthrow at second on a bunt, and a run-scoring squeeze play.

Clackamas pitcher Austin Kelly had a no-hitter going until the top of the seventh, when the Lions put another run on the scoreboard, scoring on a double and on a run-scoring bloop single to left, to tie the score at 3-3.

Patience at the plate paid dividends for the Cavaliers in the bottom of the seventh. Jared Bell (2-for-3) and Cole Scruggs drew walks to lead off the inning, and then, with one down, the Lions walked Taylor Stinson intentionally to load up the bases.

Jarrod Switzer’s two-out single up the middle then plated Bell for the game-winner.

Kelly (5 strikeouts, 2 walks) pitched a two-hitter, his third complete-game victory of the season.

Clackamas scored one run in the first inning when Scruggs reached on an error and scored on a two-bagger by Kelly.

And the Cavaliers added two runs in the second, on a walk, a sacrifice bunt, a run-scoring double by Cade Wilkins and a RBI-single by Bell.

The Cavaliers came up with a huge defensive play in the top of the sixth. After squeezing in their second run, the Lions had runners at first and third with just one down, when shortstop Jake Iverson teamed up with Ahlstrom at second and Switzer at first to turn a double play, the Cavaliers’ 13th double play of the season.

The Cavaliers’ 3-2 win over the Lions was no less exciting. The two teams battled to a 1-1 standoff through the first seven innings and West Linn went up 2-1 in the top of the eighth, scoring one run with two down on two singles sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt.

Clackamas then scored two runs with two down in the bottom of the inning. Bell led off with a single, Switzer walked, and both runners advanced on a double steal. Scruggs (2-for-4) plated the tying run with a base hit and Stinson drove in the winning run with a single to right.

Bell picked up his fifth complete-game victory of the season, striking out four and walking two, while scattering seven hits.

“I thought Jarrod pitched well and we played good defense,” Arntson said. “We just weren’t hitting very well. We’re not hitting with guys in scoring position.”

Arntson added, “We’ve been in a lot of one-run games this year, and these guys don’t panic. They seem to focus a little better when it’s late and the game’s on the line.”

West Linn scored one run in the first inning on double, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, and the 1-0 lead stood up through the first four innings.

Clackamas answered in the bottom of the fifth, scoring one run on a base hit by Scruggs, a sacrifice bunt by Ahlstrom, and a two-out double by Ryan Gilbert (2-for-3).

The Cavaliers did a better job of putting the ball in play in their 6-1 win, as they reached West Linn pitchers for nine hits.

The Cavaliers took charge early, scoring two runs with two down in the first inning on a double by Kelly, a base on balls by Scruggs, a passed ball, and a two-run single by Stinson.

Stinson pitched a complete game, striking out two and walking no one, while scattering five hits and allowing no earned runs.

Kelly (2-for-3, 2 runs scored), Stinson (2-for-3) and Iverson (2-for-4) led the Cavaliers at the plate.




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