Sandy combines to score 22 runs in Games 2 and 3 of the series

by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandy pitcher Darin Lort delivers a ball during last weeks sweep over Rex Putnam.Wednesday’s uninterrupted rain drizzle spawned a mucky, sticky pile of mud in the middle of the Sandy baseball field. Pioneer pitcher Darin Lort didn’t seem to notice.

Lort led Sandy to 10-3 victory over Putnam in Game 2 of the three-game series by tossing all seven innings on his way to earning the complete-game win.

“Putnam’s pitchers were kind of using the mound as an excuse, but Darin didn’t do that at all,” Sandy coach Rick Martin said. “Their coaches called him a bulldog because he just fought through it.”

Lort appeared to get better as the mound conditions got worse. As the game progressed, his fastball gained velocity while his off-speed pitches picked up more movement. He was able to get ahead in the count consistently and Putnam hitters were off-balance for most of the contest.

Lort didn’t have to concern himself with run support, because he had plenty of it. The Pioneers threatened to get on the board in the early innings, but they couldn’t get a key hit with runners on base. Shortstop Bryce Tilton broke that trend when he got the green light on a 3-0 pitch. He pounded it in the gap for a two-run double that sparked a big inning for Sandy who took a commanding lead.

Catcher Cody Welty was 3-for-4 in the game and Mitch Lovely had a pair of RBI-singles.

Sandy came back on Saturday and knocked off Putnam 12-8 to sweep the series. The Pioneers exploded for seven runs in the second inning to take control early on. They stayed in the driver’s seat all game after that.

“Our guys showed good patience at the plate in that inning and they smacked around Putnam’s pitcher,” Martin said. “All the hits we got were legitimate.”

Canyon Dwyre was the winner on the mound for Sandy, though he experienced a rocky start. Putnam shortstop Trace Loehr hit a leadoff home run on the first pitch Dwyre threw to give the Kingsmen an initial jolt.

“We had been pitching him in all week, so he was off the plate,” Martin said. “We wanted to throw him in again, but Canyon’s pitch wasn’t in far enough and he jumped on it.”

Dwyre settled in after the homer and threw five strong innings for Sandy. Alex Morgan entered in relief and got Sandy to the bottom of the seventh inning with a 12-4 lead. The Pioneers gave back four runs with a few errors, so Martin brought in Carson Dwyre to shut the door. The Sandy ace hadn’t thrown in four days and had a fresh arm. He got out of the jam and ended the game in less than 10 pitches.

Welty had another multi-hit game for the Pioneers. He, Tilton, Kyle Stipe and Nick Martin came up big at the plate all series.

The Pioneers improved to 6-3 in Northwest Oregon Conference play with the sweep of Putnam, putting them in a second-place tie with Wilsonville. They entered the week ranked No. 13 in the Class 5A hierarchy.

“We are pretty excited about where we are right now,” Martin said. “We are definitely headed in the right direction. We have been swinging the bats really well and our hitters are starting to peak at the right time.”

Sandy opened a three-game series with Milwaukie at home on Tuesday. Game 2 is scheduled for Wedensday at Milwaukie with the series finale coming back to Sandy on Friday.

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