Oregon City starter Jordan Weseman didn't give Lincoln's batters anything too good to hit Thursday.
At least, that was the game plan.
Weseman went the distance, scattering six hits with eight strikeouts, leading the Black Sox to a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals in the opening round of the OIBA National Tournament at Tualatin High School.
Oregon City's Logan Quinsey went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, driving in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning with an RBI-triple that helped send Oregon City in Friday's 12:30 p.m. quarterfinal against Tualatin.
"That was a helluva outing by Jordan," Oregon City coach J.J. Winkle said. "He threw well, but he has thrown well all summer."
Weseman said the game plan against Lincoln was simple: "Live away."
"I didn't want to throw anything inside, because anything inside, they were going to try and pull it," he said. "And no hanging curveballs. Hanging curves were my biggest fear today, because I knew they were sitting on the curve.
"I knew they were hungry, so I tried to live a little bit up, too, hoping they would chase 'em. But mostly I tried to live in that bottom-left corner, because I knew they'd chase those a little bit and try to poke it."
Weseman threw a total of 91 pitches, he didn't allow any walks, and the Black Sox played error-free defense behind him.
"I felt like I pitched pretty well," Weseman said. "Based on the spring, I didn't pitch too great And the summer before that, I didn't pitch too well. So, coming into the summer, I wanted to be more efficient, throw more strikes, and give up fewer walks, and that's what I've been doing lately."
Oregon City took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Broc Riskey led off with a double, went to second on Johnny Rotter's sacrifice bunt, and scored on Quinsey's double to right.
Lincoln answered in the fifth with Nick Ferran's two-out double and Mike Fortner's RBI-single that tied the score at 1-1.
Rotter led off the Oregon City sixth with a pop-up that the Lincoln first baseman dropped for an error. Quinsey then drove a 1-0 pitch from Brant Campanian into the gap in right-center field for a triple, scoring Rotter with the go-ahead run.
"He threw me a good pitch and I hit it pretty well," Quinsey said. "I think it was a fastball. It was a little bit outside, so I took it the other way and just put it in the gap.
"I didn't know if I got it over the outfielder's head, but I knew I hit it pretty well."
Why was Quinsey swinging in the first place? Didn't the situation call for a bunt? Did Quinsey miss a sign?
"Lincoln was expecting a bunt," Winkle said. "The first baseman was playing in, the third baseman was playing in, and 99 percent of the time, we probably are going to bunt in that situation. But I let Logan swing and he took advantage.
"The bottom part of our lineup hadn't been producing and Logan has been swinging a hot ball all summer. He's not hitting for a high average, but he's been making consistent contact and I just felt that was our best opportunity to score a run."
When Ashton Stalheim got hit by a pitch and pinch-runner Dylan Ha stole second to put runners in scoring position with no outs, it looked as if Oregon City was on the verge of a big inning.
The threat ended when Colin Grimmer popped out to third, Braden Lucas struck out looking, Robert Boland walked to load the bases, and Diego Marquez lined out to center.
"We had opportunities to score more runs and that was the disheartening thing," said Winkle, whose team left 10 runners on base — six in scoring position. "We had a bunch of situations with runners in scoring position and less than two outs and we didn't take advantage.
"We just kind of had the wrong guy up, but that's what the summer is about, too. Maybe in the spring I make a change and put somebody in there that I feel can hit, but I'm trying to give these guys opportunities. Some of them took advantage and some of them didn't."
In the seventh, Weseman struck out the first two Lincoln batters he faced and then retired Ferran on a game-ending fly out to center.
"Jordan pitched well in the spring for us, but he just didn't pitch a lot," Winkle said. "He was our shortstop and we had some other guys to do most of the pitching, so he was kind of a spot-duty guy.
"Now he's going to probably be one of our top two pitchers, for sure. Right now, he's our ace going into next spring. He has taken the role on, and I think he's done a good job.
"He's got all three pitches working and he likes to compete. He's not afraid to get beat up a little bit. He sticks right in there and he's not going to give up — that the pitcher's mentality we're looking for."
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