Beaverton shocks Lake Oswego baseball with 8-5 upset on Monday
The Lake Oswego baseball team had seized the momentum.
The 10th-ranked Lakers, hosting No. 23 Beaverton in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Monday at Lake Oswego High School, rallied to tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and everybody — everybody — knew they would complete their comeback and win.
Everybody, that is, except the Beavers.
The Beavers shrugged off Lake Oswego's seventh, put two runners on base in the top of the eighth, then got a three-run home run from sophomore left fielder Logan McRae to win 8-5.
"I was just trying to get a base hit because one of our guys was on third and he was the leading run and it just turned into what it did and I'm glad we came out on top," said McRae, who went 2 for 4 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored.
"We have a team thing of, like, 'Don't die,'" said Beaverton senior first baseman Manny Castaneira, who went 2 for 4 at the plate, drove in three runs and scored once. "We keep it up in the dugout and that's what gave us the advantage right here."
With the win — Beaverton's second in its last five games — the Beavers improved to 13-15 overall and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Next up, the Beavers — who tied for fifth in the Metro League — will play No. 7 South Salem (22-6 overall after tying for first in the Greater Valley Conference) at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Gilmore Field.
Lake Oswego, meanwhile, saw its four-game winning streak snapped and closed out its season at 17-11 overall after tying for first place in the Three Rivers League.
"To go down like that is really hard because you've grown up with these guys all your life and it might have been your last game with a lot of them so it's a really hard way to end it," said Lake Oswego junior center fielder Matt Sebolsky, who went 2 for 5 with a solo homer in the seventh inning.
"We all put in so much work and effort, and it sucks when it's taken away," added Lake Oswego junior catcher Gabe DeVille, who went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored. "But at the end, there's only one team left that can win it all."
For most of Monday's game, the day's two starting pitchers — Lake Oswego senior right-hander Jake Dukart and Beaverton junior lefty Kellen O'Connor — ruled the day, each limiting the other team to a single run in the first six innings.
Beaverton pushed ahead 1-0 in the top of the fourth when Castineira singled to center with one out, took second on a wild pitch, third on a balk and scored when Connor Patrick singled to center.
Lake Oswego responded in the bottom of the inning, getting a one-out double to center by DeVille, and one out later, an RBI single up the middle by Jackson Laurent to make it 1-1.
While both teams wasted other scoring chances — notably Thomas Dukart's leadoff triple for Lake Oswego in the bottom of the sixth — the game really got crazy in the seventh inning.
In the top of the seventh, McRae started things with a two-out infield single, Chace Fery singled to right and Trent Walker followed with another infield single that allowed McRae to score the go-ahead run.
Then, after a walk to Grant Kirby loaded the bases and ended Dukart's day, Castineira greeted reliever Malcolm Williams with a three-run double down the right field line that gave the Beavers a 5-1 lead.
As devastating as that was, the Lakers came back with a flourish in their half of the seventh. Sebolsky stepped up with a one-out solo homer to left field that chased O'Connor, and after that, Dukart singled to center. Then, with two outs, Sam Haney singled to center, Thomas Dukart doubled home one run and DeVille followed with a two-run single up the middle that tied the contest at 5-5.
But there, with all the momentum shifted toward the Lakers, Beaverton stepped up to win the game. Patrick led off the eighth with an infield single, took second on a Phoenix Forester bunt, third on Cooper Martineau's hit to center, then scored — along with Martineau — when McRae bombed a homer over the left field fence.
"Once I got around at first, I saw it had gone over and then I just started smiling," McRae said of his first home run of the season.
"There was no way," Castineira said of McRae's chances of hitting a home run in that situation. "I mean, he's had some piece up singles, but I've never seen him hit a ball like that. That was crazy. That was insane."
And this time, finally, the Lakers had no answer, going down 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth against Beaverton relief pitcher Tommy Wahlin.
"That's a good team and (we knew they would) battle back," Castaneira said. "We can't give them chances like that, but we fought back and we came out on top."
For their part, the Lakers — who brought back their top two pitchers this spring and all of their starting position players from 2017 — left appreciating their teammates.
"I'll never forget this team," Sebolsky said. "This is probably one of the most special teams I've ever been a part of."
"These guys, the seniors, meant a lot to me," DeVille said. "Just going out and practicing with them every day, it means a lot to us. Never take the game for granted because you never know when it's going to be taken away from you."