Southern Division Rivals Compete For Chance To Play In NWAC Tournament While Roadrunners Prepare For Next Opponent
The postseason has begun following LBCC’s sweep of the Clackamas Cougars and several southern division NWAC teams found themselves fighting for an opportunity to play in the NWAC Baseball Championship Tournament. Mount Hood, Lane, and Chemeketa all found themselves in the tournament this past weekend. Mount Hood beat Columbia Basin 14-9 in their first bout and iced the series with a 5-4 win after that. The Lane Titans started their weekend off losing to the Skagit Valley Fighting Cardinal 15-1, before halting their offense and winning the second match 1-0, but then lost to the Tacoma Titans. Finally, The Chemeketa Storm went 0-2 over the weekend, losing their first bout with the Bellevue Bulldogs 10-5 and their second 11-6.
Skagit Valley lit up the Lane Titans in their first game, with Derek Cherryholmes leading the charge with three runs. Diego Mellos pitched seven strikeouts and helped keep Lane’s offense stagnant. Lane wasn’t content on getting swept however, and their defense locked up Skagit Valley while Henry Lovekamp scored their only run off of a wild pitch. Lane ultimately lost 6-4 against Tacoma in the clash of the Titans to see who would advance to face the Roadrunners on in the championship bracket.
The Roadrunners will take on the Tacoma Titans to kick off the championship tournament on May 23 at 12:35 PM at Dave Story Field in Lower Columbia Community College. Tacoma is holding a stellar record currently sitting at 39-8 overall and 20-5 in conference. The Titans placed second in the west behind Lower Columbia (22-5 conference), despite having a better overall record. They’ve hit 396 runs this season with a 31% batting average and 28 home runs. While LBCC’s own Jacob Melton sits at fifth in batting average with .382, Tacoma players pile at the top of the stat charts for this season. Justin VanDeBrake sits at the top of not only the batting average charts (.395), but also the RBI charts with 58 respectively. Tacoma also sits at number 1 and 2 in the pitching wins list, with Logan Gerling earning ten and Josh Vitus earning nine
Coach Petersen has fielded a very successful club here in Albany, and has had a good break before the tournament of the season. Tacoma is fresh off of their series at the super regionals, and it will be interesting to see how these two powerhouse teams will fare against eachother on the greatest stage of the season.
Story by Cam Hanson