Lake Oswego shuts down Sherwood 7-0 in playoff opener
It took a year to do it, but the Lake Oswego baseball team finally put 2018 behind it.
The Lakers, hosting Sherwood in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs on Monday, May 20, shut out the Bowmen 7-0 at Lake Oswego High School. In the process, Lake Oswego won its way into the second round of the playoffs — the No. 14 Lakers will play at No. 3 Clackamas at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday — and also exorcised the ghosts of last year's first-round playoff loss.
"It's always good to go out and get a win in the playoffs, regardless of what round it is," said Lake Oswego senior pitcher Alex Giroux, who picked up the win after throwing 4 1/3 innings and allowing no runs on no hits and four walks while striking out six. "It felt good today, and hopefully, we'll come back Wednesday and get another one."
"We've been hyping on it all year — be aggressive and don't get behind in the count," said Lake Oswego senior center fielder Matt Sebolsky, who went 3 for 3 at the plate with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored. "It showed our work this whole year and I'm happy to survive and advance and play Wednesday."
With the win, the Lakers' 10th in their past 12 games, Lake Oswego improved to 15-13 overall after finishing third in the Three Rivers League. No. 19 Sherwood, meanwhile, saw its two-game winning streak snapped and ended its season with a 17-11 overall mark after finishing third in the Pacific Conference.
The Lakers broke through with one run in the bottom of the first inning Monday, added three more in the second, one in the third and two in the sixth to pull away from the Bowmen. But the story of the day was the Lakers' pitching, with Giroux and sophomore reliever Jacob Matlock (he threw 2 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on no hits and no walks with one strikeout) teaming up to no-hit the Bowmen.
"I felt really good, besides my finger," said Giroux, who left the game after developing a blister. "My arm felt really good, so hopefully, I can get the finger figured out and I'll be back again pretty soon. (And) we'll take a no-hitter. It's definitely a bonus, but we'll take the win."
Sebolsky got things started in the bottom of the first when he led off with a double over the Sherwood left fielder's head, then scored on Brandon Day's single to center.
In the second, Alex Sol opened with a single, Jackson Laurent reached base on a fielder's choice, both moved up on Malcolm Williams' bunt, and both scored on Sebolsky's double down the third-base line. Sebolsky then came home when Gabe DeVille hit a two-out, opposite-field single to left that extended the Laker lead to 4-0 and chased Sherwood senior starter Sage Dunaway.
In the third, Thomas Dukart led off with a bloop single to right, stole second and scored on a Sherwood error. Lake Oswego's final two runs scored in the bottom of the sixth when Sebolsky and DeVille hit back-to-back singles with two outs, Sebolsky came home on Giroux's hit to right and Day singled in the final run with a bloop single to left.
While the Lakers maintained control throughout the game, Sherwood senior reliever Anthony Garrett was solid, allowing three runs in four innings on five hits and no walks while striking out four.
Sherwood's best chance to score came in the top of the fourth inning when Giroux, struggling with the blister on his throwing hand, walked the bases loaded with no outs. But Giroux settled down after that, striking out the next three batters in order to end the threat.
After that, the Bowmen managed just one baserunner in the game's final three innings — on a Lake Oswego error in the sixth — but could not advance that lone runner past first.
The Lakers, after opening the season at 4-10, have gone 11-3 since and believe they can compete with anyone.
"I definitely think we can compete with anybody," Giroux said. "I think the state's pretty wide open this year so if we put together a few good games, we can make a run at it."
"We just need to keep going, keep finding a way," Sebolsky said. "We've just got to keep working hard, keep up the energy the whole game. That's something we've been working on the whole year. And we've just got to believe. That's the main thing, if you believe you can, you will."
DeVille went 2 for 4 with one RBI for LO, and Day finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs. For Sherwood, Dunaway and Kade Emmons both reached base twice.