Sherwood completes its sweep of Liberty with a 3-0 victory

by: DAN BROOD - TURNING TWO -- Sherwood senior second baseman Colton Waker, with junior shortstop Riley Moore behind him, makes a throw to first to complete a fifth-inning double play in the Bowmen's 3-0 win at Liberty on Friday. HILLSBORO — The Sherwood High School baseball team says it hasn’t come close to peaking yet.

The Bowmen also insist that they have plenty of improving to do.

But they might have trouble convincing Liberty of that.

Sherwood completed its key three-game sweep of Liberty by scoring a 3-0 win over the Falcons in a Northwest Oregon Conference game played Friday at Liberty High School.

“It was pretty good,” said Sherwood senior outfielder Logan Ballarché, who had a hit, a run scored, an RBI and two stolen bases in the victory. “We didn’t play our best this week, but we got the ‘Ws.’ We want to peak in the playoffs and, overall, I think we’re getting there.”

“This was pretty big for us,” said Bowmen sophomore Zak Taylor, who turned in a complete-game shutout pitching performance in Friday’s game. “Liberty and Wilsonville are big series for us. We wanted the sweep. This sets us up well.”

Liberty fell to 5-7 in NWOC play and to 11-10 on the season at that point following Friday’s loss. Sherwood, holding on to first place in the NWOC standings, improved to 11-1 in league games and to 15-5 on the season to that point with the victory.

“A win is a win, and we’ll take it,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said. “We just need to get better at the plate. We have to clean some things up.”

Liberty, showing that it came to play on Friday, got a double by senior Zach Chitwood on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning.

But Taylor, Sherwood’s hard-throwing right-hander, also showed that he was ready for action as he struck out the next three Falcon batters to end the inning.

The Bowmen then took the early lead with a run in the top of the second inning.

Ballarché got things started when he reached first base on a Liberty throwing error. He then proceeded to steal second base. Sherwood senior Alex Barzee was then hit by a pitch and senior Colton Waker followed with an infield single to load the bases with one out.

Sherwood junior Riley Moore then drew a walk to bring home Ballarché with the game’s first run.

The Bowmen threatened again in the third inning, getting a one-out double by Taylor followed by a walk by junior Jake Reimer. But sophomore Ryan Kaser, pitching well for the Falcons, got a groundout and a strikeout to get out of the inning unscathed.

That turned out to be a theme for the Bowmen, as they weren’t able to add onto their lead over the next three innings.

In the top of the fourth inning, Sherwood got a two-out infield single by senior Cyrus Mooney and senior Joseph Balfour was hit by a pitch. But they both were left stranded on base.

In the top of the sixth inning, Moore laced a two-out triple to right field, but again Sherwood wasn’t able to come up with a run-scoring hit.

But, thanks to strong pitching by Taylor, and some solid defensive play, the Bowmen still held onto their 1-0 lead going into the seventh inning.

It was at that point that they were finally able to add on to their lead.

Balfour and senior Jack Urbach drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. Following an infield pop out, Balfour and pinch runner Logan Dix each moved up a base on a passed ball. Balfour then scored when Liberty relief pitcher Justin Collins was called for a balk, making the score 2-0.

Then, after Reimer walked, Ballarché pushed a bunt past Collins for an RBI single, with Dix scoring on the hit to up the margin to 3-0.

“That’s all part of my game,” said the speedy Ballarché, who looks to be fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered during his junior football season.

Taylor gave up a two-out walk in the bottom of the seventh, but he got Falcon senior Jason Sandwisch to fly out to senior Anthony Sherwood in right field for the final out of the game, capping off the 3-0 win and the series sweep.

“With our defense, there are no worries when the other team gets on base,” Taylor said. “I always have confidence in our defense.”

Taylor, in his complete-game shutout performance, allowed three hits while striking out six and walking one.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I could locate the ball today.”

“Zak pitched a heck of a game,” Strohmaier said.

Sherwood, as a team, had six hits in the win, one each by Balfour, Waker, Taylor, Mooney, Moore and Ballarché.

Prior to Friday’s win, Sherwood scored a 1-0 victory over the Falcons in a game played April 24 at Sherwood High School.

Senior left-hander Charlie Paul picked up the pitching win for the Bowmen in that contest. In five and two-thirds shutout innings of work, he scattered five hits and struck out six. Reimer got the save, retiring all four batters he faced, two by strikeout.

Ballarché drove in the only run of the game with an RBI single in the fifth inning.

“He’s doing a lot for us,” Strohmaier said. “He’s swinging the bat really well.”

Sherwood opened its series with Wilsonville on Tuesday by scoring a 7-1 win over the Wildcats in a game played at Wilsonville High School.

The teams were slated to play at Sherwood on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press. The series will conclude Friday with a 5 p.m. game at Wilsonville High School. The Bowmen will open a two-game series with Parkrose with a home game on Tuesday.

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