Lake Oswego Majors all-stars fall 2-1 in regional championship
The Lake Oswego Little League Majors all-stars got the win of a lifetime on Friday, Aug. 13.
While Lake Oswego wasn't able to replicate that success in the championship game of the Pacific Northwest Regional tournament on Saturday, Aug. 14, there were still lots of reasons to celebrate. The Lakers, already District 4 and Oregon state champions, left the tournament with a Little League World Series berth in hand — the first for a Lake Oswego team since 2007 — and their heads held high after pushing Eastlake Little League of Sammamish (the Washington state champ) to the limit in their 2-1 title-game loss. The PNW Regional tournament was held at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California.
"I felt great about (the championship game)," said Lake Oswego pitcher Chase Kelly, who pitched five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks while striking out seven. "I think we did good, but a few things didn't go our way in the last game and it was the deciding factor in the game."
"I feel down a little bit tonight, but I know I will feel happy when we get to Pennsylvania," said catcher Ethan Uecker, who went 0 for 3 against Washington's winning pitcher Sanath Chari (he threw four innings and allowed no runs on one hit and four walks with 11 strikeouts). "I thought that this tournament was really fun."
"We also lost to (Washington) twice in a row which is not the best, but at the end of the day, we made it (to the World Series)," added first baseman Ben Robertson, who went 2 for 3 at the plate and drove in his team's lone run.
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Next up, Lake Oswego will open World Series play in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, against Upper Providence Little League of Oaks, Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic A representative, at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20.
"It will take lots of competitiveness and hard work, but I think we can do pretty well," Kelly said.
"I think we have a good chance … as long as we work as a team and put this game behind us," Uecker said.
In the PNW Regional championship, the two teams were tied at 0-0 through 2 Â½ innings until Washington broke through to score twice in the bottom of the third. There, Walter Steinbok was hit by a Kelly pitch, Eli Jones singled to left with one out, and Washington took a 1-0 lead on a Lake Oswego error. Then, with Jones at third base, Logan Rausch hit an infield single to give his team a 2-0 edge.
Lake Oswego, which stranded six runners in the game's first four innings, finally broke through to score in the top of the fifth. There, Kelly singled to right, then scored when Robertson doubled to right and cut Washington's lead to 2-1.
But Washington made sure Lake Oswego got no closer. Chari got a ground ball and a strikeout to end the fifth, and in the sixth, with Kellen Kinney on in relief, Lake Oswego got a leadoff walk from Jackson Caylor before Kinney ended the contest with back-to-back strikeouts.
For the game, Rausch went 3 for 4 and drove in one run to lead Washington.
Lake Oswego is managed by Chris Kelly and assisted by coaches Tony Sturgeon, Brad Smith and Keith Caylor.
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