Lobos clinch West Coast League Pennant
- David Ball
- Gresham Outlook - Sports
BASEBALL - Lobos wins 12 of last 14 games to vault to the top of the standings
The Lobos used some clutch late-game hitting to beat the Stars 4-1 on Thursday, Aug. 6, for a win that clinched the West Coast League summer baseball title.
The teams took a scoreless game through five innings before the Lobos broke free in the seventh, building their 4-1 lead after Gresham graduate Zach Brown sent a single through the left side to bring in teammate Doug Kincaid.
The Stars tried to answer in the eighth inning when Mike Dickman rounded the bases, pausing for a moment at third before wheeling around for home. The hiccup would prove costly, as Brown got the ball a full stride early forcing Dickman to go wide and take a wild swipe at the plate. The umpire called him out to end the inning.
'If that guy scores, it makes the game more interesting and who knows if the momentum swings back in their favor,' Lobos' manager Bryan Donohue said. 'That was a big play for us tonight.'
The Stars brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but the comeback was dashed with a pop-up in foul territory in front of the Lobos' dugout.
The win marked the 12th win in 14 tries for a Lobos squad that nailed down first place, despite being buried in the standings with a 5-8 record a month ago.
'We hit a point where we were just tired of losing, and the guys found a way to come together and get it done,' Donohue said. 'It would have been easy to throw in the towel, but we pulled off some close wins and put together a nice win streak.'
While first place is locked down, there is still something to play for when the Lobos take on the Ports in the season finale 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, at the University of Portland.
The coaches for both teams also make up the staff at Mt. Hood Community College in the spring where Donohue is the manager. Before the season, the coaches bet a dinner for whichever staff won the summer series. The showdown between the teams is knotted at three apiece.