There are a lot of new faces, but the Cavalier OIBA team is putting some games in the win column

“[The success we’ve had in summer baseball has] been kind of a shock for me and [assistant] coaches [Tom] Bohlman and [Eddie] Wilkins,” said Clackamas Outlaws head coach John Arntson. “We lost 15 seniors to graduation. The coaches have been looking around saying, ‘Who are these guys and where did they come from?’

“We don’t have the star power we had in high school [baseball]. But they play well together, and they play hard.”

The Outlaws won seven of their first 11 games on the summer season. They started out with wins over Sherwood (5-3) and Gladstone (6-3), and losses to Sherwood (2-1) and Barlow (4-0).

They then won four of five games and finished second in the Corvallis area Mid-Valley Classic, losing to West Linn 10-7 in the final, after advancing through wins over Corvallis (11-6), Bend (18-4), Crescent Valley (7-1) and Putnam (6-0). The Corvallis, Crescent Valley and Putnam teams they beat in the tournament were American Legion teams, which included players from several schools, as well as graduated seniors.

In other recent games, the Outlaws split with Beaverton, defeating the Beavers 3-2, after dropping their opener 7-0.

Arntson says the team has been impressive with their bats and on the bases in summer play. Through their first 11 games the team batting average was better than .300 and the Outlaws had 40 stolen bases.

“And we’ve been playing really solid defensive up the middle,” Arntson said.

Senior Luke Burns, the one returning starter from the high school season, has been hitting at a .400 clip, while playing second and shortstop, and doing some pitching.

Senior Hayden Kirsch has been tough at second and shortstop and he’s got a .350 batting average, Arntson says.

Arntson says he likes what he’s seen from third baseman/designated hitter Gabe Fisher, a senior who moved up to varsity from the jayvee team. Fisher is hitting around .400.

“[Senior] Brett Peterson has been our man at catcher,” the Outlaw coach said. “He’s been a great team leader, both by example and vocal.”

And Arntson says he likes what he’s seen from senior Nick Krska in centerfield.

Burns has a team-leading seven stolen bases. Peterson has five stolen bases; Kirsch, Krska and Portland Christian transfer Nate Mumford have four stolen bases apiece.

“We’ve got pretty good team speed again,” Arntson said.

The Outlaws host Grant in a doubleheader today at 3:30 p.m. They have a doubleheader at Hillsboro at 6 p.m. next Monday (July 7) and they host Aloha in a single game at noon on July 8.

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