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Tualatin will host a Class 6A state playoff game Monday

by: DAN BROOD - PICKOFF PLAY -- Tualatin High School senior Austin Marsh (left) puts a tag on Newberg senior Matt Gardner during last week's game. The Wolves won 5-1 to finish up a 16-1 Pacific Conference season. TUALATIN — Senior Day.

It was pretty special to the Tualatin High School baseball team.

For the Timberwolves, who had already wrapped up the Pacific Conference championship, it was a day to celebrate their senior class. It was a day of fun and it was a day of victory.

The Wolves wrapped up their league season by scoring a 5-1 win over Newberg in a Pacific Conference finale played May 8 at Tualatin High School.

“We’ve been in this program for a long time,” Tualatin senior outfielder Andrew Schlottmann said after the game. “It’s special.”

“It’s a cool feeling to think of the tradition here and being a part of it,” Tualatin senior Austin Marsh said.

With the setback, Newberg finished the league season with a record of 6-11.

Tualatin finished Pacific Conference play at 16-1 (20-5 on the season, to that point) with the victory.

“That’s pretty good,” Schlottmann said. “Our league is very talented.”

But, despite the jovial atmosphere of Senior Day, it was easy to tell that the Tualatin squad was also focused — extremely focused — on something else.

The state playoffs.

“It’s the most exciting time of the year,” Schlottmann said. “It’s very intense.”

The Timberwolves will open postseason play on Monday when they host Central Catholic at 5 p.m. in a Class 6A state playoff game to be held at Tualatin High School. The Rams, who are the No. 3 team out of the Mt. Hood Conference, are 13-12 on the season.

“We’re looking for much better results than last year,” Marsh said, referring to the Wolves’ first-round loss a year ago.

Tualatin is confident that they it will enjoy more positive results this year.

“We’re one of the closest teams, and that’s big for the playoffs,” Schlottmann said. “We’re a unified team.”

“We don’t focus on any one person,” Marsh said. “We just need to keep playing the same.”

“All of these guys care about the team,” Tualatin coach Adam Strachan said. “We is bigger than I. All of these guys have bought into that.”

That certainly seemed to be the case in last week’s Senior Day victory.

The Wolves, taking advantage of some Newberg miscues, scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Jake Gellos reached base on a Newberg error and senior Jon Fishback followed with a single. Marsh got on base by drawing a walk with one out in the frame. They call came around to score in the inning to give Tualatin its quick 3-0 advantage.

The Wolves kept threatening from there. In the bottom of the second inning, Tualatin got a single by senior Kyle George and a double by Fishback, but the Wolves couldn’t add on to their lead.

However, they were able to tack on a run in the bottom of the third frame.

Marsh led off the inning with a double that hit high off the fence in left field. He moved to third base on a wild pitch and then scored on Schlottmann’s RBI single to right-center field to up the margin to 4-0.

The Wolves got their fifth run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Gellos hit a one-out double and he ended up scoring on junior Brandon Shroyer’s two-out triple to right field, making the score 5-0.

Newberg scored a run in the top of the sixth inning, and threatened to get more, but the Timberwolf defense came up with a pair of big plays. Gellos, at catcher, picked a Newberg runner off third base with no outs and the bases loaded. Then, with two outs in the frame, Tualatin junior Cooper Brunner, playing in right field, threw a Newberg runner, who was trying to score from second base on a single, out at the plate.

“This was a special day,” Strachan said. “Everyone contributed. We played everyone and got the win. We wanted momentum going into the playoffs. We’re playing some great baseball.”

Senior Connor Scott picked up the pitching win on Senior Day. In a complete-game performance, he gave up one run on eight hits while striking out 10 and walking none.

Tualatin, as a team, had nine hits in the win. Fishback went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. Senior Tyler Baggenstos went 2 for 2. George, Marsh, Schlottmann, Gellos and Shroyer added one hit apiece.

Tualatin was slated to play at Westview in a non-league game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Wolves, if they win their state playoff first-round game on Monday, will host a second-round playoff game Wednesday.

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