Delay due to poor field conditions at Newberg doesn’t rattle Lions

From start to finish West Linn took it to the Tigers, defeating them 22-1.


A grounds crew member surveys the field conditions at Newberg High School before going to work.

All 19 baseball players on the roster got at-bats, 14 players got hits and the West Linn Lions shellacked the Newberg Tigers on Monday to remain at the top of the Three Rivers League standings. First pitch was originally set for 5 o’clock, but West Linn discovered an unplayable baseball field upon their arrival. Record rainfall in the state of Oregon combined with the fact that Newberg has a grass & dirt field led to muddy conditions.

Throughout the day Monday there were talks of the game being moved to West Linn since the Lions have a field made up of artificial turf, but officials decided to play it out.

“It’s always the home team’s decision to move field locations and it’s not easy to do when you consider last minute transportation issues,” West Linn head coach Joe Monahan said.

A drying agent (chicken feed) was applied to the diamond and a one-hour delay ensued to let the product soak in.

“It smelled a little weird, kind of a like a barn. But it got the job done,” Tim Tawa, senior shortstop, said. “We went out there and jumped on (Newberg). The field conditions didn’t change the game plan much, it just changed the start time.”

Speaking of the start time, a little before 6pm, playing conditions were good enough to get the game underway.

Tawa drew a leadoff walk, Chase Cosner, senior, then picked up an RBI batting in the second spot giving West Linn a 1-0 lead, and they never looked back. Cosner and Garrett Marioni scored in the first inning in addition to Tawa, and West Linn took a 3-0 lead heading into the second frame.

They then went onto score in each of the following six innings, racking up 22 runs in all. Newberg got their run in the bottom of the third inning, but it was too little too late as the Lions already had posted nine runs on the board.

Ryan Driscoll, senior, pitched a six-inning gem, only allowing one run. He recorded his first win as a varsity starter.

“It felt really good. It’s really easy to go out and pitch when your team is scoring runs every inning and making great defensive plays,” Driscoll said.

He was relieved by Allan Scott, junior, and Zach Anderson, junior, who each had strong one-inning outings holding Newberg to zero runs.

Also of note, Connor Lang, senior, drove in the first run of his varsity career, drawing a bases loaded walk in the top of the sixth inning. Seth Long scored the run.

In retrospect, the West Linn coaching staff looked at the situation as an opportunity for the players to appreciate how fortunate they are to have a good playing facility.

“I think it’s good to have our coaches and players put a little elbow grease into the game once in awhile to appreciate how good we really have it back at home,” Monahan said.