Numbers add up to a great 2017 for the West Linn baseball team
If you know baseball, then you know this — baseball is a numbers game.
Three strikes and you're out. Nine players on the diamond. Sixty feet, six inches from the pitcher's rubber to home plate and many, many more.
For this year's West Linn baseball team, the numbers added up like never before, so get out your calculator, your smartphone or your abacus and get ready to roll through some of the numbers that made the Lions great in 2017.
1 — While the Lions didn't end up winning the Class 6A state championship, they did earn the No. 1 spot in the OSAA power rankings after a great regular season that saw the team win the Three Rivers League and roll all the way to the state title game.
2 — This one is a double-edged sword, representing second-ranked Clackamas — which beat West Linn 5-1 in Saturday's Class 6A state championship game at Volcanoes Stadium — and also the Lions' second-place finish in the playoffs.
3 — Another painful reminder, three is the number of hits that Clackamas pitcher K.C. Reilly allowed West Linn in Saturday's state title contest.
3 — No. 3 on West Linn can also mean one other thing — all-star junior right fielder Garrett Marioni. Marioni was named to the all-Three Rivers League first team after hitting .340 this year with seven doubles, 33 hits (fourth-most on the team), 21 RBIs and 25 runs scored.
5 — No. 5 on West Linn can mean just one thing — all-star senior first baseman Jake Porter. Porter was named to the all-Three Rivers League first team and shared Player of the Year honors with Tim Tawa after hitting .400 this year with two home runs, 18 doubles, 33 RBIs and 29 runs scored.
6 — This denotes the number of first-team all-Three Rivers League players on the Lions' roster, including Tawa at both shortstop and pitcher, Porter at first base, senior Chase Cosner in center field, junior Micah Gibson at catcher and Marioni in right field.
11 — No. 11 on West Linn can mean just one thing — all-star senior shortstop/pitcher Tim Tawa. Tawa was named to the all-Three Rivers League first team as both a pitcher and shortstop, and shared Player of the Year honors with Porter after hitting .365 this year with a team-high five home runs, 14 doubles, 24 RBIs, a team-high 40 runs scored and a team-best on-base percentage of .500. Tawa also went 7-2 on the mound with a 1.26 ERA, 70 strikeouts and 24 walks in 55 2/3 innings pitched, and an opposition batting average of .215.
12 — Twelve represents the number of all-star slots the Lions grabbed on this year's all-Three Rivers League team. In addition to West Linn's first-teamers, other all-star picks included: senior outfielder Evan King, second team; junior infieder Jonathon Kelly (second team); junior second baseman James Marshall (second baseman); senior pitcher Garrison Ritter (second team); senior pitcher Ryan Driscoll (second team); and senior pitcher Rance Pittman (honorable mention).
21 — West Linn put together a gargantuan 21-game winning streak during the 2017 season, beginning with the team's second league game way back on April 8 and continuing 57 days until the team's state championship game defeat.
21 — No. 21 on West Linn can also mean one other thing — all-star senior center fielder Chase Cosner. Cosner was named to the all-Three Rivers League first team after hitting .412 this year (best among the Lions' regulars) with one home runs, six doubles, a team-leading 47 hits, 26 RBIs and 31 runs scored.
24 — No. 24 on West Linn can mean just one thing — all-star junior catcher Micah Gibson. Gibson was named to the all-Three Rivers League first team after hitting .289 this year with two triples, seven doubles, 22 RBIs and 13 runs scored. Gibson also played error-free baseball in his 31 games, threw out six of 13 would-be base stealers, collected 25 assists and allowed just 11 passed balls.