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After starting just 1-7, the Lake Oswego team wins 12 of its last 15 games in 2019

COURTESY PHOTO - Lake Oswegos GTM Construction Bulldozers incuded (back row left to right) coach Jaime Komitor, head coach Brad Smith and coach Bob Radziwon, (middle row) Dougie Jewett, Jack Bogaty, Jackson Graetz, Harrison Smith, Jagar Shean and Dillon Garg, and (front row) Brice Hill, Will Radziwon, J.J. Komitor and Sam Gindling.It isn't always about how you start.

Sometimes, it's about how you finish — and no team knows that better than Lake Oswego's GTM Construction Bulldozers.

The Bulldozers, a Lake Oswego Little League Majors baseball team, proved that in spades, going 12-3 down the stretch and winning four straight playoff games to claim the American League championship.

"I've never seen a Little League team turn a season around the way we did. Not even close," said Lake Oswego head coach Brad Smith. "It was absolutely thrilling to see."

The Bulldozers got hot after starting their year at 1-7, then really caught fire in the playoffs, winning four straight times by a combined margin of 40-8. In the playoffs, the fourth-seeded Bulldozers beat Matisse Funds 12-2 at Westlake Park on May 30, edged Grimm's Fuel 4-2 on June 1 at East Waluga Park, then dumped Flying Pie Pizzeria twice, winning 12-2 at Westlake Park on June 5, then duplicating that feat with a 12-2 victory in the finale at Westlake on June 9.

"(After the slow start), we chose as a team to remain positive and practice harder and stick with the process," Smith said. "The kids never quit and it was their attitudes — they all had great attitudes and that was the difference. Because of that, their talent was able to break through and put together a championship run in the playoffs."

In the playoffs, the Bulldozers got great efforts from pitchers Jagar Shean and Harrison Smith, with Shean throwing 4 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball in the playoff win over top-seeded Grimm's Fuel, while Smith struck out 27 batters in three playoff wins.

Offensively, Dillon Garg and Will Radziwon knocked in runs in every playoff game, Dougie Jewett, Jack Bogaty, Jackson Graetz and leadoff hitter J.J. Komitor all had multi-hit games in the playoffs, while Brice Hill and Sam Gindling contributed by getting on base and hitting the ball as well.

"Our bats were absolutely on fire the last couple of weeks and throughout the playoffs," Smith said.

The rest of the team included coach Jaime Komitor, coach Bob Radziwon, Jack Bogaty and Harrison Smith.

"I'm so honored and so proud of those boys and what they did," Smith added. "The team could have quit but they chose to dig deep and fight instead."


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