The team is one of the final six in the OIBA tourney

by: DAN BROOD - MAKING THE PIVOT -- Sherwood shortstop Spencer Clay (right) looks to make a throw to first after forcing out Westview's Teagan Lind in Friday's OIBA tournament contest. OREGON CITY — It might have been the end of the summer season.

But it also might have been the start of something special for the Sherwood baseball program.

The youthful Sherwood OIBA baseball team, which had just three players from the Sherwood High School squad that won the Class 5A state championship this past spring, saw its summer season come to a close with a 9-1 loss to Westview in a losers’ bracket quarterfinal game of the Oregon Independent Baseball Association season-ending tournament, held Friday at Oregon City High School.

“It was a very successful summer,” said Adley Rutschman, a Sherwood High School sophomore-to-be. “We got some great experience, and it will help us in the spring.”

“It was a good summer,” said Jake Reimer, a Sherwood senior-to-be who was one of the three players from the spring’s title-winning Bowmen team. “The new guys did a good job. It was a good building summer. We got the group together again.”

Sherwood finished the summer season with a final record of 24-9. The team was also among the final six squads in the 16-team, double-elimination OIBA tourney.

“It was a great summer — 24-9 is pretty darn good,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said. “Our goal going into this season was to get three or four playoff-atmosphere games, and we got six. This group is athletic and coachable. We also had a lot of questions answered this summer.”

The Sherwood team found itself facing an early deficit in Friday’s game against Westview.

Westview, getting RBI singles by Andy Schubert, Nolan Minter and Kenyon Yovan, as well as a run on squeeze bunt by Jayden Hanna, sprinted out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

Westview, getting a two-run single by Hanna, scored four more runs in the top of the third inning to up the early margin to 9-0.

Sherwood got one of those runs back in the bottom of the third.

Tanner Shadbolt singled to left field to lead off the inning. He moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Spencer Clay and then he advanced to third on a groundout by Keegan Lawrence. Rutschman then plated Shadbolt with a two-out, line-drive single to center field to make the score 9-1.

But the Sherwood squad wasn’t able to get any closer. The team did get a two-out single by Reimer in the fourth inning, but he was left stranded on base.

“It was a rough game,” Reimer said. “They hit the ball like crazy, but we stuck with it. We just didn’t have it today.”

“You have games like this,” Rutschman said. “We did what we could.”

Sherwood had three base hits in the game, one each by Shadbolt, Rutschman and Reimer.

Reimer also pitched the final two innings for Sherwood in the contest. He retired six of the seven batters he faced, striking out four and walking one.

The loss didn’t seem to dampen Sherwood’s summer season, or the team’s outlook for the future.

“This summer was really fun,” Rutschman said. “It was great to get to play with the older guys. The experience will really help.”

“Winning is a tradition with us,” Reimer said. “We just have to do the little things.”

“Our pitching and defense have been there all summer,” Strohmaier said. “We just have to put the ball in play more. There are a lot of things that are fixable.”

Prior to the loss to Westview, Sherwood fell 9-1 to Lake Oswego in a winners’ bracket semifinal game played last Thursday at Tigard High School.

Shadbolt had a pair of hits, including a home run, in that contest. Rutschman and Zak Taylor added one hit apiece for Sherwood.

Lake Oswego went on to claim the OIBA championship.

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