CLACKAMAS — As the Linn-Benton Baseball team enters the home stretch of the regular season, they hope to improve their standings in the NWAC. The Roadrunners not only swept the Clackamas Community College Cougars, but they did so in dominant fashion on Thursday, April 27.
The Roadrunners improved their winning streak to 3 games, scoring 18 runs and only allowing 4 in that timeframe. The Beaks are 7-3 in their last 10 games. They have improved their record to 24-14 overall with a 19-11 record in NWAC South play. Clackamas started the day with a 10-28 record in overall play, going 5-21 in conference play.
As a divisional opponent of the Roadrunners, they were two momentous wins to pick up, and may prove crucial to making the playoffs again and competing for another NWAC title.
In the first game of the day, the Beaks won 6-2, with 6 different players scoring, demonstrating the depth of the team and how well their chemistry has developed as the season has progressed.
Cole Cramer scored in the first when Trey Nelson singled. Kyle Perkins and Kace Naone scored in the top of the 5th inning when Naone doubled down the line and Cramer hit a sacrifice fly. Clackamas managed a run in the bottom of the fifth, but it would not be enough.
Aidan Dougherty scored on a throwing error by the third baseman in the top of the 8th; Durham Sundberg and Perkins would follow him home to rack up 6 runs for the game. Clackamas managed a run in the bottom of the 8th inning, but could muster no more.
The Roadrunners managed 8 hits in the first game, and only struck out once. Pitcher Chase Reynolds fanned 6 batters in 6 innings, and Brian McClelland struck out 3 hitters in 3 innings.
With a final score of 7-2, the Roadrunners steamrolled the Cougars in the second game, with Dougherty chalking up 4 of the team’s 14 hits. Nelson, Perkins, and Naone each recorded 2 hits as well.
Dylan Rush threw the first 8 innings, notching 4 strikeouts, and Broderick Stanaway pitched the 9th and threw a strikeout of his own.
It was exactly the set of performances that the team needed in preparation for their final 6 games as the NWAC South Region playoff standings are finalized. The Roadrunners are competing with Lane, Southwestern Oregon, and Umpqua for the NWAC South title.
The Roadrunners’ final 4 games of the season are against the Southwestern Oregon Community College Lakers; with LB standing at 22-14 (19-11 conference) and the Lakers at 22-13 (15-10 conference). The NWAC South may very well be determined by the Beaks’ final game.
The Roadrunners next game will be in Albany against Clackamas on Saturday, April 29 at 1 p.m. It is part of a doubleheader with the second game at 4 p.m.