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Young Wildcats lose squeaker to Lakers

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview senior Kyle Cox slides safely across home plate for the Wildcats first run of the game against Lake Oswego on Monday.

Though stockpiled with emerging talent, it’s important to remember the Westview baseball team is still a highly young squad assimilating to the intensity and mental focus it takes to reign in the state’s supreme.

There will be potholes in the road and growing pangs to stretch out, as there were when the Wildcats allowed a takeable preseason 5-4 loss to Lake Oswego vanish because of a few misplays in the field and sedated at-bats against Laker ace Jordan Horak on Monday.

Those blunders, however, were effort errors. They were hustle plays made with good intent, but simply came up shy on the execution side of things. Westview did a sufficient amount of good against a Laker team that returns most of its central cast from last year’s state quarterfinal squad. The Wildcats came out on the losing side. But, in the preseason it’s about improving day after day, taking the good and bad from loss and getting better from it.

All Westview and its underclassmen-laden squad need is time to gel and iron out the shortcomings.

“A couple bounces here and there didn’t go our way, but I thought we played a pretty good game,” said junior shortstop Parker Kelly. “We have a lot of young guys, so we’re trying to get them some experience. I came up (to varsity) as a freshman, so I’ve been trying to help these guys get through the tough times. It’s how we respond from a loss that will show how and where our team is going down the road.”

“A lot of good things come from a game like that,” said junior Tyler Stofiel. “A team like us, we’re going to be in that situation later in the season. We’re going to learn from our mistakes and be a better team.”

“I liked our drive to battle and keep battling,” added sophomore second baseman Jayden Hana. “Even though a lot of us didn’t execute, I liked how we never gave up on it. I think this is just going to help us get ready mentally and physically for the rest of the year.”

Westview touched up Horak early in the first inning when Teagan Lind lifted a single to center that scored a running-on-contact Kyle Cox from second base. Kelly followed Lind by blooping a single to right, just between the second baseman and right fielder that plated his starting pitcher to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview starting pitcher Tegan Lind pitched a six-hit complete game against Lake Oswego on Monday.

“We have all types of guys top to bottom that can do it,” said Kelly. “One through five, one through six (in the lineup) can all put it out of the ballpark or put it in the gaps. Even our seven through nine guys can do the same thing.”

Junior third baseman Taiki Ishii doubled down the third baseline, but a hustling Kelly was thrown at the dish trying to score from first to home for the third out.

“That’s a good team over there in Lake Oswego,” said Kelly. “We had a couple bumps there, but we started to get it back. We’re pretty happy with how we did today, but we have to come back in practice and get better.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview sophomore first baseman Kenyon Yovan reaches out for a throw from Teagan Lind in the second inning of the Wildcats 5-4 to Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego matched Westview’s pair of scores in the first on a suicide squeeze and an RBI groundout that evened the tally, 2-2. Then, in the fourth, the Lakers brought across a run with an infield single and scored again on a RBI single to take a 4-2 lead.

“Right now we’re not believing in ourselves, but it’s early,” said Hana. “We just always have to trust ourselves and don’t second guess. We just have to go for it. We have a lot of good things ahead of us.”

Second guessing wasn’t on Westview’s minds in the fourth when Lind led off the stanza with a single and Kelly clobbered a double down the third baseline.

With runners in scoring position, head coach Steve Antich put on the suicide squeeze, which Ishii laid down perfectly down the third base side on the first pitch of his at-bat. Horak hoofed off the mound, scooped the ball with his bare hand, dove and lobbed it home. But, Lind— an all-league tight end for the Wildcat football team — stretched his 6-foot-4 frame across home plate as if a pigskin was in his hand crossing the pylon and plated the third run.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westview junior third baseman Taiki Ishii fields a grounder and readies to throw to first in the fourth inning versus Lake Oswego.

Junior outfielder Andy Schubert backed Ishii’s bunt with another sacrifice nibbler in front of home plate that scored Kelly and tied the game, 4-4.

“Everybody on our team knows the small ball, and that’s the type of team we have to be,” said Kelly. “The new bats don’t have the same pop... so we have to rely on small ball and timely hitting. We need really good approaches at the plate instead of swinging out of our shoes.”

“In the innings we scored, we had a lot of energy,” added Stofiel. “We just have to keep that consistent throughout the whole game.”

Lind was undone by a trio of fielding mishaps including a throw-away in the fifth by the Wildcat infield that led to the go-ahead run on a RBI single by Horak.

But, the junior righty was on his game throughout, pitching a complete contest while yielding just six hits to the Lakers.

Lind went 2-3 at the plate, with a double, a walk and an RBI. Kelly was also 2-3 with a double and an RBI.




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