The Lake Oswego Little League Majors all-stars may have gotten a rude awakening at the Pacific Northwest Regional tournament, but once they were suitably awakened, the Lakers showed they were ready.
Lake Oswego, after dropping its tournament opener to Washington, came back strong against West Valley Little League — the Idaho champion — on Tuesday, Aug. 10, to win 14-0 at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California, and even their record at 1-1.
"It felt great to win and come back from yesterday," said Lake Oswego second baseman Cole Sturgeon, who went 1 for 2 at the plate, drove in two runs and scored twice. "It was a great feeling to bounce back from (getting) one hit to 16."
"It felt amazing," said outfielder Nate Cook, who went 0 for 3 at the plate and scored once in the victory. "It's really refreshing to win after that first loss. The team's attitude was great today — we had so much energy and we all had such a good time together."
Next up, the Lakers — already District 4 and Oregon state champions — will face Wyoming at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10. Wyoming is currently 1-1 in the tournament, with a loss to Idaho and a win over Alaska in its two games.
"(For) tomorrow's game, we should do the same thing we did today — have great energy, cheer for our teammates and just have fun," Cook said.
"I feel like if we play like we did today, we can win (again) and many more to come," Sturgeon said. "It will take energy execution and great hitting."
Lake Oswego brought all of that to the table against Idaho, scoring once in the top of the first inning, four times in the second, once more in the third and then eight times in the fifth to end the contest after five.
Pitcher Chase Kelly got the win after throwing four innings and allowing no runs on two hits and no walks while striking out three before giving way to reliever Ethan Uecker for a scoreless fifth inning.
At the plate, Ben Robertson led the way in Lake Oswego's 16-hit attack, going 3 for 5 at the plate and knocking in three runs, while Uecker went 4 for 5, drove in two runs and scored once.
Around the rest of the lineup, Kelly went 2 for 3 with one RBI and three runs scored, Ellis Bayne was 2 for 5 and scored twice, Jackson Caylor went 2 for 3 with one RBI and two runs scored, Beckett Heher scored twice, and Crew Corry drove in one run.
"We were all really energetic and cheering on our teammates," Sturgeon added. "The vibe in the dugout was really positive and happy."
Highlights from the Lakers' four-run second inning included: Kelly's RBI single to left; Robertson's two-run line-drive single to left; and Crew Corry's RBI groundout. Keys in the team's eight-run fifth were: Cook's two-out ground ball that brought home two runs on an Idaho error; Caylor's RBI single to center; Sturgeon's two-run double to center; and RBI singles up the middle by both Robertson and Uecker.
Lake Oswego is managed by Chris Kelly and assisted by coaches Tony Sturgeon, Brad Smith and Keith Caylor.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.