Tualatin falls to West Salem rally in playoff
As it had all season, the Tualatin High School baseball team battled.
The Timberwolves gave themselves a chance to win their second straight postseason game. But West Salem had different ideas.
Tualatin claimed a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but the Titans rallied from there to get an 8-4 victory in a Class 6A state playoff second-round game played May 23 at West Salem High School.
Tualatin, which shared the Three Rivers League title, while also being the No. 12 team in the final OSAA power rankings, finished its season with a final overall record of 19-9. West Salem, the Greater Valley Conference champion, and the No. 5 team in the power rankings, improved to 23-6, at that point with the victory. The Titans also moved onto the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs, where they beat West Albany, 3-2, on Friday.
West Salem, in the second-round contest with Tualatin, grabbed an early lead, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning.
But that's where the Timberwolves started battling back. They tied the score, at 1-1, when senior Chris Freese smacked a solo home run to left field in the top of the second inning.
Tualatin struck again for another run in the top of the third inning. Senior Sean Chamberlin got things going with a leadoff single. With one out in the frame, Chamberlin stole second and then he moved to third on a West Salem error. Chamberlin then scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Danny Shell, giving the Wolves a 2-1 lead.
Tualatin was able to push another run across in the top of the fifth inning. Senior Colby Jackson hit a one-out double to left field and then scored on a single by senior Cole Kinman, giving the Wolves a 3-1 advantage.
West Salem answered back in a big way, scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth to claim a 6-3 lead.
Tualatin, still battling, got a run in the top of the sixth inning when Shell singled in junior Kyle Dernedde, making the score 6-4. But West Salem scored twice in the bottom of the frame to put away its 8-4 victory.
Tualatin, as a team, had 11 base hits in the contest. Freese went 2 for 4 at the plate with a home run, a run scored and an RBI. Jackson went 2 for 2 with a double, two walks and a run scored. Kinman went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Dernedde, sophomore Blake Jackson, Chamberlin, Shell and junior Gavin Moore had one hit apiece.
For West Salem, Blake Aritolla went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
The loss marked the final high school game for Tualatin seniors Cameron Perry, Chamberlin, Shell, Freese, Kinman, Ryan Webb, Kaden Cook, Jack Olson, Colby Jackson and John Hensley.