Baseball: Putnam brings St. Helens back to earth
A three-run burst in the fourth inning sinks St. Helens and ends the Lions' three-game winning streak
A lone RBI single from Brody Takemoto was the only offense the Lions could offer in their series opener with Rex Putnam, dropping a 5-1 game to the Kingsman, falling back down to earth and shattering their three-game winning streak.
St. Helens' early lead was short-lived. Putnam all but loaded the based following the Lions' only error of the game, tying the game when Dylan Knoth darted home on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first. Alex Martin batted Josh Bancroft in for the go-ahead RBI to give the Kingsmen a 2-1 lead, but Bryce Sanford buckled down on the mound, allowing just one base hit between the second and third innings.
St. Helens pushed Quintin Galvin and Beau Mason to third and second base in the fourth inning, but that's about when Putnam starter Bryndon Vanwormer finally started to find a rhythm. It took eight pitches to strike out Noah Weitzel, and a sharp response to Josh Henningsen's grounder left Galvin and Mason on base as the Lions' chance fell short.
Putnam picked up in the bottom of the fourth exactly where they'd left off in the top of the inning. Two batters grounded out on the first two pitches, followed by a pair of walks from Sanford to put a runner on first and second. Junior Eamon Gallagher waltzed to third, and scored along with fellow junior Matt Schwitz to give the Kingsmen a 4-1 lead. Shawn Deford scored a few minutes later to put the home team up five, and with the stagnancy of the St. Helens offense, it looked like the Lions might be done fore.
But not so fast. The bats started defrosting once again in the top of the sixth, with Brody Takemoto sending a pitch into center field and becoming just the second batter with a base hit since the first pitch of the second inning. Bryce Winnier flied out to the shortstop, but a single to left field from Mason pushed Takemoto to second, and shortly thereafter to third on a single from junior Ryne Poorman, loading the bases with two outs, the Lions down four.
However, it was all for naught. Vanwormer rediscovered his groove, striking out senior Adam Spencer and though the Lions shut down Putnam in the bottom of the sixth, the road team couldn't manage a base hit in the seventh inning, surrendering the game to Putnam, who have now won four in a row and six of their last seven. Five runs is the second-lowest winning score for Rex Putnam all season long, the lowest being the Kingsmen's 4-2 win over visiting Wilsonville on April 15.
St. Helens will complete the home leg of their series with Rex Putnam on Friday, April 18 at 4:30 p.m.
Rex Putnam 5, St. Helens 1
Alder Creek Middle School
STHE 100 000 0 – 1 8 1
PUTN 200 300 x – 5 6 0
Hits (8): Keller, Brody Takemoto 2, Winnier 2, Mason 2, Poorman
RBI (1): Brody Takemoto
Runs (1): Keller
Hits (6): Loehr, Knoth 2, Bancroft, Martin, Deford
RBIs (4): Loehr, Martin, Deford 2
Runs (5): Knoth, Bancroft, Gallagher, Schweitz, Deford