All-state baseball lineups, Benson Tech troubled, Timbers at midseason
High school baseball coaches have voted Lincoln seniors Brandon Leitgeb (infielder) and Baxter Halligan (pitcher) and Grant sophomore Kenji Lamdin (utility) to the Class 6A all-state team.
Second-teamers include Grant junior Sammy Willman (infield), Generals junior Jack Fletcher (outfield), Grant senior Sawyer Medlin (pitcher) and Jesuit senior John Arndorfer (outfield).
Honorable mention from the Portland Interscholastic League are Lincoln senior Gabe Skoro (outfield), Cleveland senior Eli Morse (pitcher), Lincoln senior Jon Fortner (pitcher). Also honorable mention is Jesuit freshman Mick Abel (pitcher).
Not good for Benson
Benson High supporters are up in arms — and are having to defend their school's future again — because PIL officials reportedly want to discontinue Tech interscholastic sports. One idea under serious discussion at the district level last week was for Benson athletes in football and very possibly all sports play at Jefferson.
Benson supporters, somewhat caught off guard by this turn of events but also used to threats to their school, plan a march to the Portland Public Schools board meeting on Tuesday to show their concern.
Meanwhile, Roosevelt reportedly has a new athletic director, and he's coming from Benson.
Sanjay Bedi, who went from Parkrose to Benson three years ago, is said to be filling the Roughriders' vacant AD spot.
Timbers at midseason
The Portland Timbers reach the midpoint of their 34-game MLS schedule on Wednesday, when they visit Minnesota United.
Coming off a hugely disappointing loss on Saturday at Colorado, the vibe around Timbers Town is decidedly meh.
But if Portland wins at Minnesota, it will have more wins (eight) at the midway pole than in any of Caleb Porter's other four seasons at the helm.
Draw at Minnesota and the Timbers will have the same record they did in 2015. You might remember that season turning into something special.
Lose at Minnesota? The 24 points the Timbers have accumulated are one more than last season, when they missed the playoffs, and one fewer than the 2015 team that won it all.
In other words, the story of 2017 is not likely to turn on last Saturday's second-half implosion at Colorado. It will be determined by the health and performance of the highest-paid players, along with improved consistency to defensive play.
Want reasons to be excited?
• Dairon Asprilla's recent play has given Portland a true presence on the wing. If he continues to step up his game, Porter will have some interesting decisions/options in setting up his attack.
• David Guzman is a game-changer. How impactful has the 27-year-old Costa Rican midfielder been? The Timbers are 5-2-3 when Guzman has gone the distance. When Guzman either didn't play or left early, they are 2-4-0.
• Sebastian Blanco seems to be gaining confidence. The Timbers' other Costa Rican offseason signee scored a nice goal at Colorado and recently has played with more consistent purpose. If that continues, the Timbers' ceiling gets significantly higher.
Reasons to stew?
• Defensive letdowns. When they score two or more goals, the Timbers are 6-1-1. When they score only one goal, they are 1-2-2. The loss at Colorado epitomized the Timbers this year. Portland couldn't score a second goal — despite multiple opportunities — and the Rapids surged to victory in a match the Timbers should have won.
• Ridgewell's health. The captain has started only nine of the first 16 games because of injuries. He turns 33 next month — not exactly over the hill, but he has struggled to get and keep his troubling quad muscle healthy.
• The preseason injury to Gbenga Arokoyo thrust Lawrence Olum and Roy Miller into significant roles. Both have delivered solid play, but are not a championship-caliber pairing. The Timbers are expected to sign a central defender in the July transfer window. That would be a critical addition if this team is to make a title push.
No matter what happens at Minnesota, Seattle's one visit to Portland (1 p.m. Sunday) will create a buzz. The Sounders enter Wednesday's home match against Orlando eighth in the Western Conference. Despite plenty of attacking talent, Seattle has 19 goals in 16 matches, eight fewer than the Timbers' 27.