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Wednesday local sports news/Timbers 2 earns draw; Andretti drivers test at Portland International Raceway; Willow Creek rallies to take its opener at Little League Softball World Series

COURTESY PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Zach Veach takes some laps around Portland International Raceway during Wednesday testing by Andretti Autosport for the Sept. 1 Grand Prix of Portland IndyCar race.

PICKLES

Portland 15, BEND 9

An offensive explosion buoyed the Pickles to a victory over the Bend Elks.

The Pickles had 21 hits, a season high. Their best offensive output prior to Wednesday's big victory was a 14-run game against the Bellingham Bells on July 18.

Colin Suter (Gonzaga, 1-2) earned the win for with one run allowed and five strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

The Elks cycled through seven pitchers, with Brendan Torcotte (0-3, Hope College) taking the loss after giving up five runs with no strikeouts in 1.2 innings.

The Elks scored all of their runs in the first four innings, including a monster six-run inning in the second to take an 8-5 lead.

The Pickles put together three four-run innings in the first, fifth and sixth that made it more than possible for Portland to pull out the victory.

Only one Pickles player – third baseman Kyle Velazquez (Saint Mary's) – had less than two hits. Center fielder and leadoff hitter John Jensen (UC Irvine) was 5 for 6 with a double and three RBIs. Batting second, Gabe Skoro (University of Portland, ex-Lincoln High) was 3 for 6 with a double.

Portland catcher Thomas Rudinsky (Lane Community College) hit his sixth homer of the season, in the top of the first, and second baseman Austin Lively (Seattle University) hit his first of the season the next inning.

Shortstop Jack Johnson and third baseman Zach Needham homered in the six-run inning for Bend.

The series finale starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Portland has clinched the series, owning a 2-0 lead.

The Pickles remained second in the West Coast League South Division second-half race; they are 13-10. The first-half champion Corvallis Knights are 17-6 in the second half. The Cowlitz Black Bears are third in the second half at 12-11.

Portland's final three games will be at home against Cowlitz over the weekend. The Pickles and Black Bears will meet at Walker Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday.

TIMBERS 2

Portland 2, COLORADO SPRINGS 2

Cristian Ojeda and Foster Langsdorf had goals as T2 battled to a draw in United Soccer League Championship play in front of 4,201 fans at Weidner Field.

Both Portland goals came from rebound opportunities. Ojeda gave Portland a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute with his second goal of the season, and Langsdorf headed home a rebound off the crossbar from a Ojeda shot in the 69th minute.

Langsdorf's fifth goal of the season came two minutes after Saeed Robingson had given the Switchbacks a 2-1 lead.

Colorado Springs tied the score just after halftime, with Ismalia Jome blasting a home a shot on a rare indirect free kick from six yards in front of goal, awarded when Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic handled a back pass from a teammate.

T2 is 7-7-8 (29 points) and in the 10th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Switchbacks are 6-14-3 (21) and 16th among 18 clubs in the West.

Next for T2 is a 6 p.m. Sunday match at Providence Park against New Mexico United.

INDYCAR

Host Portland International Raceway was the scene of much testing Wednesday for the Sept. 1 Grand Prix of Portland. Among those taking turns around the track were Andretti Autosport drivers Alexander Rossi, Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Zach Veach.

"The main thing is just taking off of what we could improve on last year," Beach said. "You know, so far this test has been great for us to get just back around here and know Firestone is coming here with a new tire, which has a slightly different construction, so that's behaving a little different than what we expected. But it's something that we all have to adapt to, so this hopefully gives us a little advantage when we show back up here in the next month or so."

Hunter Reay said he was glad to come for the testing.

"I love coming to Portland, beautiful area in the Northwest," he said. "You know, I'm from South Florida right now where it's 95 degrees and 100% humidity. So it's always nice coming up here.

"And you know, the Portland fans are really passionate about their racing, about their IndyCar racing. And my first race here was in 2003, and I remember back then it was a great turnout. So now the series is extremely competitive, it's tight. And I think we're going to have a great race weekend here."

LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL

The annual World Series began at Alpenrose Stadium with four pool-play games.

The Oregon District 4 champion, Willow Creek, defeated Hampton (Canada) 6-5, with the tie-breaking run scored in the top of the sixth inning, capping an Oregon rally from a 5-1 deficit. Oregon pulled even with four runs in the fifth and finished with a 9-4 edge in hits.

In other games: The East entry (South Little League of South Williamsport, Pennsylvania) defeated Asia-Pacific (Negros Occidental LL of Bacolod City, Philippines) 3-1; Southeast (Rowan LL of Salisbury, North Carolina) beat Southwest (Eastbank LL of River Ridge, Louisiana) 7-0; and West (Honolulu LL) downed Central (Central Iowa LL of Polk City, Iowa) 11-1.

COLLEGE ACROBATICS AND TUMBLING

The University of Oregon will play host to the 2020 National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association national championships April 23-25 at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon also was the site in 2011.

The Ducks have been in the finals eight times in the past nine years, winning in 2011, 2013 and 2014. They have made it to the semifinals in all nine years of the event.


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