No. 7 Clackamas baseball beats Lake Oswego 6-1 in Class 6A quarterfinal
The Lakers had their chances.
The Lake Oswego baseball team — facing Clackamas and star senior pitcher Jackson Jaha in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A state playoffs on Friday, May 27, at Clackamas High School — had more hits than the Cavaliers, drew more walks and put more runners on base.
But it was Clackamas that made the most of its opportunities, pushing across three runs in the bottom of the third inning and three more in the fifth to beat the Lakers 6-1 and earn a berth in the state semifinals.
"It was a great day. It's always good to win at home," said Clackamas senior third baseman Nick Holm, who went 1 for 2 at the plate with a double and three RBIs. "We just made big plays when we needed to. When we needed an out, we found a way to get it."
"I felt good. I was ready to pitch," said Jaha, who threw seven innings and held the Lakers to one run on seven hits and four walks while striking out eight. "I wanted to get to the final four and do my thing and I had great defense behind me so I knew we were going to be good."
With the win, the team's 11th in its past 12 games, the No. 7 Cavaliers improved to 26-4 overall after winning the Mt. Hood Conference. Next up, Clackamas will host No. 14 Canby — a 1-0 winner over Mountainside in its quarterfinal — in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 31.
No. 18 Lake Oswego, meanwhile, saw its two-game winning streak snapped and ended its year at 15-14 overall.
As much as the loss stung, the Lakers knew what they'd accomplished in 2022, rallying from a 3-10 start, stringing together nine straight wins in the second half of the season, then beating two higher-ranked opponents in the playoffs, including a 5-1 upset of second-seeded Jesuit two days earlier.
"It's tough to go out like this," said Lake Oswego senior shortstop Asher Abreu, who went 2 for 3 at the plate and also recorded four assists. "It's a tough situation at the end, but we grew and we really grew to become a great team."
"We came in as the 18th seed, and I guess, started off really bad, but we turned it around," said LO senior first baseman Kellen Krebs, who went 1 for 2 with a double and two walks. "We got swept by West Linn in one series— it was kind of a wake-up call and we had a talk with coach — and we turned it around from there and put together a nine-game win streak at one point. We were feeling good."
Both pitchers — Jaha and Lake Oswego senior Carson Bush (he threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out three) — held the upper hand early, with Jaha stranding four LO runners in the first three innings, while Bush was perfect in the first two frames.
But in the bottom of the third, the Cavaliers broke through. Senior Caden Stevens and junior Jake Brady got things started with back-to-back singles, and senior Trevor Wilson followed with an RBI double to right to plate the game's first run.
Brady scored on a wild pitch with Jaha at the plate, and after Jaha walked, Holm hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 3-0.
The Lakers tried to answer in the fourth, getting consecutive one-out singles from senior Elijah Maeda and Abreu, but Jaha got Bush on a fielder's choice to Holm and Abreu was called out for interference at second as Cavs' senior second baseman Ashton MacClanathan tried to turn a double play.
The Lakers tried to rally again in the fifth, getting a leadoff single to center by Matthew Mathaney and a Krebs walk, but Jaha bore down there for three straight outs and another shutout inning.
Then, in its half of the fifth, Clackamas put the game away with another three runs. Brady singled to center with one out to end Bush's day, but after LO sophomore reliever Jonah Barkoff got the second out, Jaha walked and Holm doubled off the center field fence to plate two runs.
"I got a fastball right over the plate and he paid for it," Holm said.
Cavalier senior Maurice Mayers followed with an RBI single to center field to extend his team's lead to 6-0.
The Lakers go two more runners aboard in the top of the seventh — including Krebs' double — before Jaha sealed the win with two straight outs.
The two teams exchanged words at the end of the contest, but both wrote it off as a measure of their competitive natures.
"They've got a lot of seniors over there so it's a tough loss to take," Jaha said. "(And) we're a pretty crazy group of guys so I knew something might happen."
"We gave it all we could. We gave it our all," Krebs said. "I bet if we played them again, it would be different."
Brady was the only Cavalier with more than one hit, going 2 for 2 and scoring twice. For LO, Abreu was the only Laker with more than one hit.
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