"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." - Vince Lombardi
Former Lane Community College pitcher Keynan Middleton promoted to Los Angeles Angels
By Steve Mims |The Register-Guard
Middleton was drafted by the Angels in the third round of the 2013 major league baseball draft out of LCC. He is believed to be the first former Lane baseball player to reach the majors.
Middleton is a relief pitcher who had a 2.84 ERA and two saves in 10 appearances this season at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Middleton struggled during his first three seasons in the minors as a starter before being moved to the bullpen last year when he climbed from Single-A to Triple-A. The 23-year old right-hander went 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA at Single-A Inland Empire before being promoted to Double-A Arkansas, where he posted a 1.20 ERA. He ended the season in Salt Lake, where he was 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA.
Middleton is from Milwaukie High, where he also starred in basketball. He played baseball and basketball at LCC.
Middleton has been a role model for Oregon freshman pitcher Kenyon Yovan, a Westview High graduate whose dad played slow-pitch softball with Middleton’s father.
“I’ve known Keynan since I was 2,” Yovan said recently. “We’d always be out there tossing the ball around and playing against other kids. Those were good times.”
Yovan is 1-0 and tied for fourth in the nation with 13 saves in 15 appearances, compiling a 0.77 ERA with the Ducks.
“Once he got drafted and went through the minors, he told me what it’s like and what you have to do to prepare,” Yocan said of Middleton. “I tried to apply that every day in practice and every game. I try to go out there and play older than a freshman.”
Like Middleton, Yovan has moved from a starting pitcher to a reliever this year with the Ducks.
“Being a starter, you try to prolong your arm throughout the game,” he said. “You have a few pitches where you’re going to throw as hard as you can to strike out a guy, but as the closer you go out and hope to throw 10 or 15 pitches with max effort and working to get outs. It’s nice to be able to go out there and go 100 percent on every pitch, and that’s one thing he helped me with.”
Titans split pair
Hank Forrest went 4-for-4 and Tony Ortiz scored two runs to lead Lane to a 4-2 victory over Linn-Benton in the second game of an NWAC baseball doubleheader Saturday at Titan Field.
The Titans trailed 2-1 in the fifth inning, but tied the score when Forrest scored on a sacrifice fly by Boone Casarez and took the lead on an RBI single by Ortiz.
In the first game, Josh Congdon, Caleb Smith and Colton Cosner had three hits apiece to lead Linn-Benton to a 9-2 victory.
Cosner doubled and tripled for the Roadrunners, who scored five runs in the ninth inning to pull away.
Colton Sakamoto and Tim Storms had two hits apiece for Lane (14-15, 11-5 Southern Region), who remained one game behind Linn-Benton for first place.
Lane baseball splits with Linn-Benton
ALBANY — The Lane baseball team split an NWAC doubleheader at Linn-Benton on Friday, winning the opener 10-2 before dropping the nightcap 4-1 in a battle of the South Division’s top two teams.
In the first game, the Titans (13-14, 10-4) led 4-1 before breaking the game open with six runs in the top of the sixth inning.
Colton Sakamoto was 3-for-5, including a triple, and Lane Kashiwamura was 2-for-4 with two runs. Tony Ortiz, who tripled, had two RBIs.
In the second game, Forrest had a solo homer for the Titans, who led 1-0 in the third inning before Linn-Benton (21-7, 11-3) took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Lane baseball players to keep playing
Seven Lane baseball players have landed spots with four-year schools, including four who’ll be moving on to NCAA Division I programs.
Three of the players signed in the fall and four others signed during the recent spring signing period.
Among those who signed in the fall were Austin Crowson (Monroe High) with Nevada, Landon Bourassa (Lethbridge, Alberta) with San Francisco and Boone Casarez (Lowell High) with Campbellsville University in Kentucky.
Signing this spring were Tony Ortiz (Olympia) with Tulane, Kyle Keith (Casper, Wyo.) with Southern Mississippi, and Cooper Webster (Lakeridge High) and Jalen Fuhriman (Idaho Falls, Idaho), both with Northwest Nazarene.
Nevada, San Francisco, Tulane and Southern Mississippi are NCAA Division I programs.
Lane sweeps against Clackamas in baseball
Landon Bourassa and Jalen Fuhriman combined on a three-hitter to give Lane a 5-1 victory over Clackamas in the second game of an NWAC baseball doubleheader on Saturday.
Bryce Mulcahy drove in three runs for the Titans in the victory.
In the opener, Mulcahy’s three-run triple keyed a four-run seventh inning to lead the Titans to a 5-4 victory over the Cougars
Lane baseball team splits with SWOCC
COOS BAY — Thomas Rudinsky and Colton Sakamoto each drove in runs to help lead the Lane baseball team to a 3-1 victory at Southwestern Oregon, but a Titan rally fell short in the second game as the two teams split a Northwest Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader Friday.
Lane broke for a 1-all tie with runs in the fourth and seventh innings of the opener. Landen Bourassa earned the win on the mound, giving up just four hits and striking out two in six innings of work.
Southwest Oregon took a 4-0 lead into the top of the ninth inning of the second game before Lane erupted for three runs. But the Titans could plate the tying run in falling 4-3.