Lake Oswego short-circuits in 2-1 loss to Tigard
The Tigard baseball team took advantage of its chances.
Lake Oswego did not.
And that, as simple as it sounds, told the story of the Tigers' 2-1 Three Rivers League victory at Tigard High School on Monday.
The Tigers scratched across single runs in each of the game's first two innings and, behind junior C.J. Rivers' four-hitter, made that early lead stand up.
"I think we were the better team on the field, but we just didn't have good approaches (at the plate)," said Lake Oswego junior catcher Gabe DeVille, who went 1 for 2 at the plate. "We needed to go out there and grind and I think that's what it came down to at the end of the day."
"We gave up two runs early and tried to push couple through in a couple Innings, but we just didn't execute and that's baseball," added Lake Oswego senior pitcher Jake Dukart, who went 2 for 3 at the plate and also threw six innings, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out six.
With the loss, Lake Oswego fell to 2-1 in Three Rivers play and 5-7 overall, while Tigard improved to 1-2 in league and 8-4 overall.
Tigard struck early against Dukart, starting with a one-out walk in the bottom of the first by Michael Quintana. Quintana took third on Rivers' single to right field, and then, with Caden Stinson at the plate, Quintana got caught in a rundown between third and home but scored when a Lake Oswego throw hit him and bounced away.
The Lakers loaded the bases on three Rivers walks with two outs in the top of the second, but in a scenario that repeated itself throughout the day, they failed to score. This time, LO came up short when Matt Grimm grounded to Quintana at shortstop for th third out.
In the bottom of the second, Tigard pushed across its second run, getting a one-out single to right by Fletcher Ahl, and with two outs, a run-scoring double to right from Micah O'Donnell that made it 2-0.
Dukart settled down after that and didn't allow another run, facing just three batters over the minimum in the Tigers' final four at-bats.
"I felt all right on the bump," Dukart said. "I'm on short rest so I wasn't throwing my hardest … but I battled and we played good defense throughout the game."
That said, Rivers continued his mastery of the Lakers, too, allowing just four hits, five walks and two hit batters in the game while striking out five.
"His delivery is a bit funky but we should have timed him up," DeVille said. "He doesn't throw very hard, his curveball is a little loopy, but we just have to get better timing down. We should have been able to drive the ball all over the yard."
"Two runs should never beat us, but we were kind of dead at the plate today," Dukart said. "We were taking too many pitches and we have some work to do."
That's not to say the Lakers didn't have chances, though. In the fourth inning, Thomas Dukart was hit by a pitch with two outs and Jackson Laurent followed with an infield hit before Rivers induced an inning-ending groundout.
In the sixth, DeVille led off with a single, but saw Rivers set the next three Lakers down in order, two of those by strikeout.
And finally, in the seventh, Grimm and Matt Sebolsky led off with back-to-back walks to chase Rivers from the game. But then, with Jake Dukart at the plate to face reliever Nick Heinke, Tigard catcher Joey Cavalli caught Grimm straying too far off second base and picked him off for the first out of the inning.
Dukart followed with a bloop single to left, but Heinke got Sam Haney on a long fly ball to center field, then struck out Dawson Jaramillo to end the game.
"What we learned is (we need) a better mental game," DeVille said. "We were the better team so we just have to have less mental errors and we have to know that everyone is going to bring their best out every day."
"I think the biggest thing to take away from today is we just need to battle at the dish, make the most out of every at-bat and make every at-bat a hard out," Jake Dukart added.
For the game, Jake Dukart was the only Lake Oswego player with more than one hit. For Tigard, Rivers went 2 for 3 batting and was the only player on his team with more than one hit.
In upcoming games, Lake Oswego plays at Newberg at 5 p.m. Friday and hosts Newberg at 5 p.m. Monday. Tigard hosts Lakeridge at 4:30 p.m. Friday and plays at Lakeridge at 5 p.m. Monday.