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Laker OIBA team closes in on league title

Lake Oswego has put together a strong summer as it preps for OIBA playoffs


VERN UYETAKE - Aiden Prentice has shined for Lake Oswego's OIBA team this summer and figures to be one of the team's top pitchers next spring.The Lake Oswego baseball team has put together a stellar summer so far and is closing in on clinching the No. 1 seed in its league as the OIBA playoffs approach.

The Lakers have been on a roll, going 21-6 and getting contributions from everyone on the roster.

“One of our concerns last year was that we didn't have quite as deep of a pitching staff as we're used to and we've traditionally built our program around pitching and defense. This summer everyone on the roster has thrown for us,” Anders said.

While Lake Oswego will return some talented and experienced starters in Aiden Prentice, Mitch Verburg and Matt Voelzke, a handful of other promising arms have emerged which should give Anders plenty of options.

Colin Mitchell, and incoming junior, has been particularly impressive in his outings on the mound and Ben Shimota has also raised eyebrows.

In the field, Brendan Hawes has been one of the most dangerous and productive hitters in OIBA this summer. He primarily acted as the Lakers' designated hitter last year but has made the transition to first base.

“He's been absolutely murdering the ball for us,” Anders said.

Another bright spot for the Lakers comes in the form of incoming sophomore Sam Haney, who Anders expects may have a breakout season next year.

The Lakers are currently riding a six-game winning streak and have two league games remaining before playoffs open next Tuesday.

Lake Oswego is coming off a season in which they were snakebit by injuries and a bit of misfortune but were still very competitive in the brutal Three Rivers League.

“I think everybody, from a record standpoint, was disappointed with how the season went and the kids take it personally. Overall, I felt like it was a good season for us. We just didn't catch a break. The expectations in the program will never change and the kids know that,” Anders said.

The OIBA season is a grind and it's often difficult to be at full strength with many players committed to multiple sports but Anders has been impressed with the Lakers' commitment.

“There's great chemistry and the kids are really focused. We've had games where we've only had nine guys and they just do what they have to do,” Anders said.

If the Lakers advance, the OIBA playoffs will be held in Wilsonville this year.

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