Baseball team beats Lake Oswego to help maintain TRL positioning

In a tight battle for first place in the Three Rivers League, the varsity baseball team got the win on May 3

In the middle of the Three Rivers League (TRL) season, the baseball team won 11—1 over the Lake Oswego Lakers. Fresh off a 4-1 loss against Lake Oswego the day before, the baseball tied up the season series. Danny Wideman, sophomore, had three runs, which led all batters on May 3.

“The whole entire team was really mad,” Wideman said. “We didn’t play the cleanest baseball yesterday [against Lake Oswego]. [Our] pitcher yesterday pitched a good game, but I just know everyone wants to lock in this game and we’re still trying to win that series on Friday.”

Ranked second in state, Lake Oswego is an opponent that West Linn may have to face again in the playoffs. For now, the baseball team looks to take down Lake Oswego again on May 5 at 5:30 p.m. on Lake Oswego’s turf. Ryan Vandenbrink, junior, was a key contributor to the 11—1 victory due to his perfect four hits on four at-bats. 

“I think we’re gonna come in hot,” Vandenbrink said. “I mean, there’s no letting up. We just got a big one here. I think we’re gonna get a big one on Friday.”

Thanks to those four hits, Vandenbrink played an integral part in the baseball team’s four-run first inning.

“I took [yesterday’s loss] to heart because I was in a position at the end of the game to maybe give us a shot at a win, but today I turned that around and I said, ‘I’m not gonna let this guy beat me,’” Vandenbrink said. “I had a personal turnaround and I knew the guys were gonna be fired up for this one. We just bounce back real hard.”

Additionally, Lake Oswego was shut out until the fifth inning. Gabe Howard, junior, got the start and delivered seven strikeouts.

I had a personal turnaround and I knew the guys were gonna be fired up for this one. We just bounce back real hard.”

— Ryan Vandenbrink

“I’m just commanding the zone, taking advantage of their weaknesses,” Howard said. “Just striking guys out, getting those balls into the ground.”

Ranked fourth in state, the baseball team has an upcoming series with the Lakeridge Pacers, which starts on May 9. Lakeridge, ranked third in state, also looks to contend for the TRL title. 

“We have two weeks with some really high level pitchers,” Vandenbrink said. “I’m really excited for the rest of the league season. I think it’s gonna be a couple big weeks coming up. I think the team is still warming up. We’re still getting hot, and we’re going to be ready for playoffs after [league play].”

Drake Gabel, senior, will be the starting pitcher versus Lake Oswego on May 5, a game that will decide the season series.

“We got Drake [Gabel] on the mound, he throws a lot of strikes,” Wideman said. “We’ve been hitting the ball pretty well. I feel like we have a good shot of getting a lot of base hits and playing defense for Drake [Gabel]. Just expect a lot of action on the field.”