Bruins claim rare series win against Clackamas
Saturday, April 20
CLACKAMAS — Wilson Weber opened the door with a single to right field, and teammate Jaren Hunter came to the mound to slide home the deadbolt on Saturday's 5-3 win at Clackamas to claim the season series between the two teams.
Trailing 3-2 late in the game, the Bruins put together their winning push in the sixth inning. Kody Kjeldsen led it off with a blooper over second base, while Hunter was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat. Weber followed by punching a shot to right field that allowed Kjeldsen to dive home head first with the tying run.
Next up was Durham Sundberg, who had homered and doubled in his previous at-bats.
Clackamas issued him a free pass that loaded the bases with no one out.
A ground ball to shortstop Alex Claxton resulted in a force out at the plate.
But the Bruins would not be denied much longer.
Carter Loeb worked the count full and fouled a deep ball wide of the left-field line, before knocking a bouncer through the left side to bring across Sundberg with the winning run.
Pinch-hitter Dawson Northrup drew a bases-loaded walk to add an insurance run in the next at-bat.
With the upper hand, Barlow called on its ace Jaren Hunter to finish the game.
He struck out the side in the sixth, getting the last two batters looking.
Hunter started the seventh with a strikeout and a ground out to put the Cavaliers on life support. An error allowed the tying run to step into the batter's box, but a harmless bouncer to Titus Dumitru at first base ended the game.
"My mindset was just to come in and throw lots of strikes," Hunter said. "I knew from pitching against them in Game 1, that they only wanted to hit my fastball. So by mixing up speeds and keeping them off balance, I knew I would be able to prevent them from getting anything going."
The win pushes Barlow alone into second place in the Mount Hood Conference, keeping pace one step behind Central Catholic, who got a walk-off home run from Christian Cooney to beat Sandy 4-3 on Saturday.
"No team has been able to take a series from them in awhile now, so this one was extremely important," Hunter said. "Our goal is to win the league championship and this win today brought us closer to doing so."
The Cavaliers have lost one other league series (vs. Central Catholic) since becoming a member of the Mount Hood Conference four years ago.
Sundberg bashed a two-run homer in the first inning, only to see Clackamas answer by pushing runs across in each of the first three innings. Nathan Vaughn knocked a hopper through the right side, allowing Grant Schoen to sprint home without a challenge for a 3-2 lead.
Barlow tried to answer in the fourth inning when Durham sent a double to center field. But the Cavs got some unexpected help when a bouncer from Dumitru clipped Durham's cleat for an automatic out.
Clackamas right fielder Carson Moffett caught the first and last outs of the inning.
Barlow came up with some stellar defense in the fifth after Jack Dorn drilled a lead-off single to right field.
Barlow's left-handed reliever Cole Peterson struck out the next batter looking at a pitch across the bottom of the zone. Moments later, Peterson gloved a come backer on the mound and twisted around quickly to start a double play.
Each of the team's lead-off hitters, Kjeldsen for the Bruins and Schoen for the Cavs, came up with multiple hits and scored both times they found their way on base.
Barlow claimed the middle game of the series 2-0 on its home field Thursday. Sundberg sent a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in Kody Kjeldsen with the winning run in the fourth inning.
Bruins' starter Carson Jensen went the distance on the mound, striking out six and retiring the side in order three times.
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This story is slated for our Tuesday, April 23, print edition.