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The Pacers get two three-run innings and a five-run fourth to beat the Cougars

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lakeridge center fielder Spencer Gore makes a diving catch during his team's 12-7 win at Canby on Thursday, May 2.The start of its Thursday, May 2, game could not have gone much worse for the Lakeridge baseball team.

The Pacers, who'd already dropped their series opener to Canby, saw the Cougars bang out six hits and score seven runs in the bottom of the second inning at Canby High School.

But the Pacers made sure their game — and their series — ended differently. Lakeridge came back with three runs in the third, took the lead with five in the fourth and rolled to a 12-7 victory from there. The Pacers then added a 5-0 win over the Cougars on Friday, May 3, to take their three-game series 2-1.

"In the (Three Rivers League), anybody can beat anybody," said Lakeridge senior right fielder Colin Hardy, who went 2 for 3 at the plate and scored twice. "There's been a few times when we've had a lead and let it slip away so we figured we had to keep scoring."

"We're always going to believe in our offense, no matter where we are unless there's three outs in the seventh inning," said Lakeridge senior second baseman Hayden Moore, who went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. "I think everyone in our lineup, one through nine, can hit."

With its Thursday and Friday wins, the Pacers improved to 7-8 and fifth in the TRL (13-8 overall). Canby, meanwhile, dropped to 3-9 in league play and 7-14 overall.

"They're a good team," said Canby senior right fielder Sean Wiese, who went 1 for 4 at the plate with a three-run double. "We beat them Tuesday but they came back with firepower today."

"We hit well in the beginning, but once we got that big lead, we just let it go," added Canby junior first baseman Wyatt Ramos, who went 2 for 3 with one RBI and one run scored. "We started thinking we were going to win, had it easy."

Lakeridge-Canby Baseball

Canby starter Garrett Sasse faced just six batters in the first two innings on May 2 and his offense rewarded him with a big lead in the bottom of the frame. In their half of the second, the Cougars sent 12 batters to the plate and poured across seven runs, their at-bat highlighted by Sasse's bad-hop RBI single, a run-scoring hit from Jack Liles, Chaz Kayser's sacrifice fly, Wiese's bases-clearing double to the left field fence and Ramos' RBI double down the left-field line.

"We were getting quality pitches," Wiese said. "We weren't going to let stuff go by so we just hopped on their guy early. I think we just swung the bats well."

After Lakeridge's Tyler Sloan and Spencer Gore shared pitching duties the first two innings, the Pacers turned to John Taylor in the third and he delivered. Taylor threw the game's final five innings and shut out the Cougars the rest of the way, allowing no runs on three hits and no walks while striking out four.

"John Taylor came in here and clutched up, threw five straight zeros for us so that was huge," Moore said. "That was Player of the Game. John Taylor's the MVP of this game."

With the Cougars' offense sidelined by Taylor and the Pacer defense, the Lakeridge offense came to life in the top of the third. Casey Smith led off with a single, Hardy doubled to left and Moore drove in Smith with his team's first run on a single to center. Cooper Justice followed with an RBI single to right, and with two outs, Taylor's sacrifice fly to right plated Moore to cut Canby's lead to 7-3.

In the fourth, the Pacers loaded the bases with one out, got a run-scoring single from Moore to chase Sasse, an RBI single by Cam Clayton and brought three more runs home when Taylor singled to right-center field to give Lakeridge an 8-7 lead.

While Taylor kept the Cougars at bay — he faced just two batters over the minimum in his five innings' work — the Pacers got busy with the bats again in the sixth and seventh. They scored two runs on Canby errors in the sixth and got a third on Brian Hamlin's triple to center. And in the seventh, Taylor forced home his team's 12th run on a bases-loaded walk for the final 12-7 margin.

"We just tried to tack runs on, stay hungry," Hardy said.

"We needed to keep it going," Ramos said. "We just couldn't do it today, (but) I think we're able to compete with everybody, including these guys."

For Lakeridge, Clayton went 3 for 5, knocked in one and scored twice, Smith went 2 for 4 and scored twice, and Taylor was 1 for 3 with four RBIs. For Canby, Josh Oakley went 2 for 4.

Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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