Tualatin will play a best-of-3 series before the OIBA tourney

BEAVERTON — With postseason play rapidly approaching, the Tualatin-based Suburban Door OIBA baseball team is focusing on being as prepared as possible for the season-ending tournament.

But, while they are putting their attention on being ready for the postseason, the Dawgs came up with an impressive rally, and a near win.

Suburban Door, with an extremely young team on the field, scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning, and had the potential tying runs on base, before being edged 5-3 by Bend during play Saturday at the Shamrock Wood Bat Classic, held at Jesuit High School.

“We just finally believed that we could be in this game,” said Bryce Haskin, a Tualatin High School junior-to-be, who turned in a strong complete-game pitching performance. “We just need to come out like that, innings one-through-seven, 24-7, for 21 outs.”

The rally should help the young Suburban Door team as it prepares for postseason play. The Tualatin squad, which won a summer season division title with a 6-0 league mark, has earned an automatic bid to the 16-team OIBA season-ending tournament, which starts Tuesday at Tigard and Oregon City high schools.

“We’re excited for it. It should be fun,” Haskin said. “We definitely want to take it as far as we can, but we’re going to take it one game at a time.”

“We’re looking forward to the playoffs,” Suburban Door coach Adam Strachan said. “We’re using these last few games as a tune-up for when it matters.”

Suburban Door, which was missing many if its more-experienced players during play in Saturday’s game, found itself facing an early deficit, as Bend scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning.

The Tualatin team kept trying to battle back after that. In the top of the third inning, the Dawgs got a one-out single by Ryan Kamp, but he was left stranded on base. In the fourth inning, Suburban Door got a leadoff infield single by Chase Anderson as well as walks by both Trevor Riese and Jackson Schleicher. But a pickoff, a fly ball out and a strikeout kept the Dawgs from scoring.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Bend, taking advantage of a pair of Suburban Door errors, scored a pair of runs in the frame to up its lead to 4-0.

The Dawgs kept battling. In the top of the fifth inning, Cam Frey drew a leadoff walk and Cody Davidson and Haskin each had singles later in the frame, but a double play helped keep the Tualatin team from scoring.

Bend, with Taylor McEuin hitting a triple and then scoring on a sacrifice fly, pushed its lead to 5-0 going into the seventh inning.

But that’s when the persistent Dawgs were able to break through.

Kamp and Davidson drew back-to-back walks with one out in the top of the seventh to get things going for Suburban Door. Haskin followed with a single to right field, driving in Kamp for the Dawgs’ first run of the game.

Anderson then drove in Davidson with a single to right field, making the score 5-2. One out later, Eli Robinson reached base on a Bend error. Haskin scored on the play, cutting the lead to 5-3 and putting the tying runs on base.

However, Brian Vasquez, pitching relief for Bend, coaxed a game-ending popout to wrap up the 5-3 win for his team.

by: DAN BROOD - CHASING IT -- Suburban Door's Chase Anderson takes a cut during play Saturday at the Shamrock Wood Bat Classic held at Jesuit High. “We had opportunities in other innings,” Strachan said. “We hit it hard, but right at them. That’s baseball.”

But Strachan was still pleased with the effort.

“I’m learning more about these kids every time out,” he said. “And there’s a lot of good things to learn.”

“We’re real young,” Haskin said. “But we’re gaining experience. We need to be leaders. We need to be strong.”

Haskin, in Saturday’s game, gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out five and walking four.

“He did a great job on the mound,” Strachan said. “He’s very positive kid with a lot of energy.”

Suburban Door had seven base hits in the contest. Haskin and Anderson each had a pair of hits while Kamp, Davidson and Robinson had one hit apiece.

Before starting play at the OIBA tournament, Suburban Door will first face Oregon City in a best-of-three series that will determine the two teams’ seeding going into the tournament.

The teams will play a doubleheader at Oregon City High School, starting at 5:30 p.m. If a third game is needed, it will be played Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., at Tualatin High School.

If the Dawgs win the best-of-three series against Oregon City, they’ll open tournament play Tuesday at Oregon City with a 9 a.m. game against either Reynolds or Beaverton. If the Dawgs lose the best-of-three series, they’ll open tourney action Tuesday at Oregon City with a 4:30 p.m. contest against Newberg or Southridge.

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