Lion baseball splits opening week games

Kendrick Murphy/CG Sentinel

Last week the Cottage Grove baseball team got their season underway with a matchup against the North Bend Bulldogs. While the Lions didn’t get the result they were hoping for, they still managed to get plenty of runs on the scoreboard totaling six on the day but ultimately lost 10-6 to North Bend.

Later in the week, the Lions bounced back to get a tough 2-1 victory on the road against Sisters. 

“It’s always good to get out there and see how we stack up against other teams,” said Head Coach Lance Faxon. “And see some things that we’re doing well on and see some things that we need to work on. So we were able to get an idea of where we were at right now as far as what we’re good at, and what we need to work out so that was good.”

Unlike the first game against North Bend that saw 16 total runs, Cottage Grove’s game against Sisters saw three total runs.

Braeden Buckland pitched a complete game against Sisters, going all seven innings and striking out six batters in the win. Christian Spear’s double to center field in the top of the fifth inning that brought in Peyton Glenn gave Cottage Grove the edge they needed to secure the win. 

The Outlaws were able to take advantage of two errors made by the Lions in the bottom of the first inning and get the first run on the board as Sister led 1-0. Buckland was able to pitch out of a bases loaded jam to close out the inning and hold the Outlaws to only one run scored. 

Cottage Grove responded in the top of the third after Buckland got on base and later stole home to get the Lions first run across and tie the game at 1-1. 

After the third inning Buckland was able to get into a groove on the mound and totaled six strikeouts the rest of the way. 

In the top of the fifth inning Glenn was able to draw a walk and soon after steal second base to get himself in scoring position. After Carter Parsons popped out to the first baseman, Spear got a pitch he liked and drove it to center field, scoring Glenn from second base and giving the Lions the 2-1 lead. 

Sisters wasn’t able to muster another score and only got one more hit before the game was over as Micah Spear threw the last Outlaw batter out at first to secure a 2-1 Lions win. 

Next for the Lions, the road will continue to get tougher, with a two day tournament coming up at Newport and being able to test themselves against some stiff competition. 

“Hopefully it gives us some confidence,” said Faxon. “We know how to win games, and our pitching can hold people down. I think it’s probably a step up in competition. If you look at the preseason polls, those teams are both in the top 10 (Gladstone and Henley). So, it will kind of be a good test to see where we’re at. I think our best baseball is still in front of us.” 

The Lions will play back-to-back games on Thursday, March 23 with a matchup against Gladstone at 9 a.m. and Henley at 4:30 p.m. then finish the tournament on March 24 with a game against Newport at 4:30 p.m.