Tualatin shines in victory over Lake Oswego
TUALATIN — The Tualatin High School baseball team played a solid game on defense.
The Timberwolves got a very efficient pitching performance from senior Cameron Atkinson.
And, oh yeah, Tualatin hit the heck out of the ball in timely situations.
In other words, the Wolves put everything together and came away with an impressive 8-2 win over Lake Oswego in a Three Rivers League game played Tuesday at Tualatin High School.
"We came out and we really wanted to get this first game out of the way with a win," said Tualatin senior Jett Searle, who had three hits in the victory. "We swung the bats well, and we got good pitching from our guy, Atty (senior Cameron Atkinson), on the bump and, just overall, it was a good team win."
"It went great," said Tualatin junior Campbell Clarke, who doubled in the first two runs of the game. "We came together as a team. We came out strong and we held them. We got a lot of runs on the board early, and we were able to secure that lead."
With the loss, Lake Oswego moved to 2-5 in TRL games (5-11 overall), putting the Lakers in fifth place in the league standings. Tualatin improved to 7-3 in TRL play (12-4-1 overall), putting the Wolves in second place in the league standings, behind only West Linn (9-1).
"We're getting it all locked in right now, so it's good," Clarke said. "I'm excited for the future."
"We've kind of struggled offensively the past couple of weeks, but I think we figured it out," Searle said.
That certainly seemed to be the case in Tuesday's game, where Tualatin broke open a scoreless contest with a big, six-run second inning.
Freshman Griffin Biggs ignited the big inning with a one-out single to left field. Junior Shaun Christensen followed with a single to right field. Atkinson then walked on a 3-2 pitch, loading the bases.
Clarke then ripped a double to right field, driving in both Biggs and Christensen, giving the Wolves a 2-0 lead.
"I came up there, and he (Lake Oswego pitcher Malcolm Williams) gave me two balls down low, so I knew he had to come back with a strike," Clarke said. "Coach said 'be ready for it.' I came up looking for it, there was a fastball, and I took it to right field. Yeah, it felt good. It came off the bat nice and easy."
"That was big," Searle said. "It was clutch and brought a fire to our guys."
And the Wolves kept pouring gas on that fire.
Senior Kyle Dernedde walked following Clarke's double, loading the bases again. Searle then singled to left field, driving in Atkinson. Clarke then scored on a fielder's choice grounder by senior Cameron Springer, upping the lead to 4-0. Then, following another fielder's choice grounder, senior Gavin Moore singled to right field, driving in both Searle and Springer, capping off the scoring in the big inning, and giving the Wolves a 6-0 advantage.
"The last couple games, we've gotten off kind of slow, just one or two runs, but this turned into a landslide of a big inning," Clarke said.
Lake Oswego got two runs back in the top of the third inning, with the big hit of the frame being an RBI double by senior Gabe DeVille. But the Lakers wouldn't be able to get any closer.
Tualatin added a run in the bottom of the fourth. Searle led off the frame with a single to right field, his third hit of the game.
"I saw some good pitches, some fastballs, and I just on some of those first-pitch fastballs," Searle said. "My last at-bat, they were shading me toward the six-hole, so I just punched it the other way."
Searle then stole second base and scored on a double by junior Blake Jackson, making the score 7-2.
The Wolves scored their final run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jackson belted a one-out double to center field, and then courtesy runner Lucas Diggins scored on Biggs' two-out single to right, capping off the 8-2 victory.
"This win is big, especially going into a three-game series," Searle said. "LO is always going to be a tough team. They're never going to quit, so getting this first win out of the way gives us some confidence."
"This is a big win for us," Clarke said. "It was good to get the momentum going into the rest of the week."
Atkinson, in getting the complete-game pitching victory, gave up two runs on seven hits, while striking out seven and walking three.
"Cameron did an excellent job pitching today," Clarke said.
Searle helped lead the offensive attack, going 3 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI. Jackson went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Biggs went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Clarke and Moore each had a hit and two RBIs.
For Lake Oswego, senior Jackson Laurent went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
The teams will play the second game of their series on Wednesday, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Oswego High School. The series finale will be played Friday, starting at 5 p.m., at Tualatin High School.