Sherwood tipped by LO in OIBA tourney winners' bracket final

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - SMACK -- Sherwood's Cameron Clem puts the ball in play during the team's game with Lake Oswego Friday at the OIBA tournament.OREGON CITY — It wasn't all smooth sailing for the Sherwood squad at the Oregon Independent Baseball Association season-ending tournament.

The Bowmen, on their way to claiming the OIBA tourney title, had a bit of a misstep — but it wasn't much of one.

Sherwood suffered its only setback in the 16-team, double-elimination event when it fell 3-2 to Lake Oswego in the winners' bracket final played Friday at Oregon City High School.

“It was as good game,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said after the contest. “But we were one hit away.”

“It went well,” said Tanner Dillree, a Sherwood High School junior-to-be who turned in a strong pitching performance for the Bowmen in the setback. “We wanted to win this today, but we're still on a roll. We're going to come back strong tomorrow. We want to win this.”

With the win, Lake Oswego advanced straight to Saturday's tournament championship game. Sherwood moved to Saturday's losers' bracket final, where the Bowmen would have to get a win to get another shot at Lake Oswego later in the day.

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - RAN DOWN -- Sherwood catcher Adley Rutschman (right) runs down Lake Oswego's Joey Martin in Friday's winners' bracket final at the OIBA tournament held at Oregon City.In Friday's first contest between the teams, Lake Oswego scored twice in the bottom of the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead.

Sherwood came storming back to tie the game by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the third inning.

Adley Rutschman got things started for the Bowmen with a one-out single to center field. Rutschman then moved to second base on a wild pitch and he advanced to third base on a groundout by Rich Hekker.

Rutschman would score on another wild pitch to cut the Lake Oswego lead to 2-1. Zak Taylor, who was intentionally walked earlier in the inning, scored later from third base on a single by Brendon Wexted to tie the game at 2-2.

The Bowmen threatened time and time again after that. In the bottom of the fourth inning, they got a leadoff single from Cameron Clem. In the fifth inning, Sherwood had Rutschman and third base and Taylor on second with one out in the frame. Then, in the sixth, Clem led off with a double to left-center field for the Bowmen, who went onto load the bases with two outs.

But, in every one of those instances, Sherwood came up empty.

In the bottom of the sixth, Lake Oswego got a leadoff triple from Joey Martin. But the Bowmen countered that with a clutch defensive play, as Hekker, playing in right field, gunned down Martin at the plate, with Rutschman making a run-down tag, after catching a fly ball off the bat of Max Anderson for a double play.

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - LEFTY HEAT -- Sherwood's Tanner Dillree fires a pitch to the plate during the Bowmen's OIBA tourney game with Lake Oswego on Friday.However, following the twin-killing, Lake Oswego got a walk and back-to-back singles from Mitch Verberg and Aiden Prentice, with Prentice's hit plating Oscar Stout, giving the Lakers a 3-2 lead.

“The one thing was the walk after the double play,” Dillree said. “I don't know what happened there.”

Sherwood tried to battle back in the top of the seventh inning. Taylor singled to left-center field to lead off the frame. Two outs later, Clem singled to right field. A balk call moved the Bowmen runners up to second and third base. But Prentice, pitching in relief for Lake Oswego, coaxed a groundout to end the threat and wrap up his team's 3-2 victory.

“We had multiple opportunities, but we didn't do it,” Strohmaier said. “We needed to make better adjustments at the plate.”

Despite the loss, Sherwood got a strong pitching performance from Dillree.

In six innings of work, the left-hander gave up two earned runs on six hits while striking out two and walking two.

“I struggled with some of my pitches early,” Dillree said. “But I felt confident later on.”

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - SMALL BALL -- Sherwood's Dayton Vaughn puts down a bunt during the team's game with Lake Oswego at the OIBA tournament.“Tanner pitched a phenomenal game,” Strohmaier said. “And we were solid on defense for the most part.”

Sherwood, as a team, had eight hits in the contest.

Clem went 3 for 4 at the plate with a double. Taylor went 2 for 2 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base. Hekker, Rutschman and Wexted added one hit apiece.

The Bowmen stranded 11 runners on base in the contest.

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