Sports

Lakewood Cougars cruise past Tigers

Kevin Harnden works his way through the fourth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. - Travis Sherer
Kevin Harnden works his way through the fourth inning with the bases loaded and nobody out.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

Lakewood gets seven walks in blowout

LAKEWOOD — It’s hard to be patient when playing the same team that beat you the day before.

But the Cougars were the picture of composure, driving in key runs and drawing seven walks en route to a 10-2 Cascade Conference victory over Granite Falls March 24.

“We came out of the Archbishop Murphy series (March 15-19) not liking our walk-to-strikeout ratio and we made it clear to the guys that we wanted to make pitchers work,” said Lakewood head coach Larry Delaney. “And they did that today.”

Lakewood scored a pair of runs in the first inning off a wild pitch and Alex Keen’s RBI single.

“It was nice to get a few runs to start the game because that’s something we haven’t done yet this year,” Delaney said.

The Tigers countered with two more runs, and controversy, as what appeared to be a two-RBI double was called back because the batter stepped out of the box when swinging, leaving the game a 2-2 tie in the third.

The Cougars countered with three runs in the third behind Freddy Perez’s two-RBI double. The left fielder finished going 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored.

“We got the sticks going today and we were ready for Granite today much more than yesterday,” said catcher Michael Leach, commenting on Lakewood’s 6-5 loss to start the three-game series with Granite Falls where the Cougars got one hit in the first six innings. “We really have been working wait for out pitches and drive them.”

Leach put a charge in a Granite Falls pitch in the sixth inning, putting it way past the left-field wall for a two-run shot that made the score 9-2. Leach finished going 2-for-4 with a round-tripper and a double.

The Cougars were able to keep the Granite Falls runs off the board, despite getting on the bases. Starter Kevin Harnden threw five innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four to get the win.

“This is Kevin’s second strong outing of the season and he did it with nothing fancy,” Delaney said. “He hit his spots and changed his speeds.”

The Tigers stranded eight runners, including three in the fourth after opening the inning with three consecutive singles and failing to score. Harnden battled, getting two fly outs and a weak ground ball to third in the next three at bats to keep Granite Falls at bay.

Lucas Harkins went 3-for-4 with a run scored and Keen went 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI and three runs scored.

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