By Jeremy McDonald
GRESHAM, Ore.– The grit of the Lakeridge Pacers showed itself in true fashion Monday.
After the opening inning in their first round game versus Sam Barlow High school, the Pacers were looking at a 3-0 deficit before rallying for a 5-3 victory to advance to the second round of the 6A OSAA Playoffs.
“Our team battled adversity tonight,” said Lakeridge Head Coach Marco Tavera. “We put ourselves in hole and we battled out of it! Our kids showed heart and battled. Our guys don’t quit! There is fight in them till the last out.
“They made some great plays to get us out of jams. The kids were tough tonight.”
The Pacers settled into their own after that first inning however.
Jesse Davis wheeled off 10 strikeouts over those last six innings after giving up those three runs to start, and by the third inning, the bats of Lakeridge roared to life as Jared Fitkin scored Kyle Beckley on a single as they tied the game up at three by innings end to make it a game.
Lakeridge’s defense, behind Davis, flexed their muscles in the fourth and by the fifth, the Pacers took the lead when Beau Bryant scored off an error.
Tommy Andrew added an insurance run in the top half of the sixth inning to ensure the victory as Davis struck out five of the final nine batters he faced in the contest.
Up next, Lakeridge has the opportunity to upset the Irish of Sheldon Wednesday on Sheldon’s hometurf. The Irish (22-5, 20-1 Southwest Conference) shutout Century 3-0 to start the playoffs Monday afternoon, the first pitch is TBA in Eugene.