Despite lack of confidence during regular season, West Linn baseball team brings optimism to playoffs
With the regular season gone and the dawn of playoffs upon them, the West Linn baseball team is more interested in looking at its prospects for playoffs than reflecting on the season. With a loss to Clackamas by one run on Thursday, May 11, the team finished with a regular season record of 7-19 and league record of 2-13, coming in last in the Three Rivers League.
“It’s kind of a disappointment; we had one of the most talented teams in the state but we underachieved. I do feel like we came together to bond as a team though, and made memories for life,”
Mitchell Vogt, senior right fielder, said.
A thrilling win by the Lions in the fourth game of the season against Tualatin is part of the memories Vogt has from this season. The Lions were down by four in the bottom of the last inning until they scored five runs, taking the victory from the Timberwolves with a final score of 6-5.
There are also those heartbreakers at least once every season. According to Mitchel Mondor, junior pitcher, this one came early in the season against Westview. With the score tied at zero going into the fifth inning, the Wildcats drove in three runs with a crucial hit. The Lions were unable to rally and lost the game 3-1.
Vogt said lack of confidence this season is the reason why the team couldn’t pull out wins against Lake Oswego, who finished first in league and is definitely the team to beat.
“They have a very good hitting team and one excellent pitcher. They are probably the favorites to win state,” Vogt said. He also said that key changes need to be made in order to overcome the Lakers. These include having confidence at the plate and being heads-up on defense.
The team closed out the regular season with a 9-8 loss to Clackamas last week. The Lions were up by two when the Cavaliers scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Mondor said he is most looking forward to getting a chance to prove themselves in the playoffs, something Vogt would agree with.
“If we win the first two games, we could go to the semifinals, and possibly have a chance at the state title—we just need confidence,” Vogt said.
The Lions won their play in game against Hillsboro Tuesday night, 12-7. The team will face Jesuit in the first round of the playoffs tonight.
“I think it will be a tough game: Jesuit won the Metro, which is a tough league. If we can jump on them early and put pressure on, that’s an advantage in baseball,” Kevin Mills, head coach, said.
“I think we have the talent to go far; we just have to believe,” Vogt said.
Unfortunately, the team will be losing its two main starting pitchers next year, James Coghill and Zachary Shuholm, seniors.
“We will have a young team next year and there will be low expectations from everyone around the league but I think we will be just fine,” Mondor said.