Saints on hot streak after sweeping lakers twice

The Mt. Hood Saints rode momentum from a dramatic comeback to push their baseball win streak to four, with two doubleheader sweeps of Southwestern Oregon Community College on Monday and Tuesday.

Due to weather and field conditions, the Saints played their “home” games at the George Fox University field in Newberg.

It wasn’t looking good against the Lakers in the first game on Monday. Mt. Hood batted in the bottom of the ninth inning, trailing 11-8.

But three hits, an intentional walk, hit-by-pitch and passed ball later, the Saints scored a walk-off win, with a one-out, two-run single by Jason Garcia.

In Game Two, Saints starter Ryne Lopez tossed a gem, allowing just one hit, one walk and striking out four, in a 4-0 shutout win.

In the first of the two games Tuesday, the Saints also started out hot. They scored one run in each of the first two innings and then adding two more in the third to give them an early 4-0 lead.

The game would turn into an extra-inning thriller, however.

Still trailing Mt. Hood 4-1 in the seventh inning, the Lakers rallied off of three straight walks. Relief pitcher Hunter Bruno replaced Sam Menegat, who gave up the walks, and he gave up a run-scoring single before the big blow, a three-run single by Lakers shortstop Justin Bennett that gave SWOCC a 5-4 lead.

Mt. Hood’s deficit was short-lived, though. In the eighth, rightfielder Thomas Lampkin lead off the inning with a double and advanced to third by swiping a bag. He then scored on a hit by Saints DH Beau Crouch to tie the game.

The ninth and 10th innings passed without a serious scoring threat.

The 11th inning is where the excitement and fun began, for the Saints.

After the Lakers went three up, three down in their half of the inning, Mt. Hood’s leadoff batter, Garcia, was hit by a pitch. So was the next batter, third baseman Dru Fitz. After a fly-out by Jace McKinney, the Saints’ second baseman, left fielder Michael Copeland reached on a costly error by the Lakers’ second baseman, to load the bases.

Up came Lampkin, batting in the cleanup spot, already 3 for 5 with an RBI on the day. He swung and took a pitch deep enough to the outfield that let Garcia tag up and score from third to give the Saints the 6-5 victory.

The second game wasn’t nearly as exciting. The Lakers scored one run in the first inning, then Mt. Hood exploded and the bats went crazy. The Saints scored one run in the fifth and seven runs in the sixth to give them a 8-1 lead, that turned into an 8-2 win.

The win streak lifted Mt. Hood to 7-5 in the South Region, good for third place, and 10-16 overall.

The Saints are scheduled for a home doubleheader today against Linn-Benton, with games at 4 and 7 p.m., before the two teams travel to Albany to play twice on Saturday.

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