Tualatin rolls to 9-0 win in tourney opener
LAKE OSWEGO — Hitting.
The Tualatin Oregon Independent Baseball Association team did it all well — very well.
And the Dawgs got an impressive postseason victory to show for it.
Tualatin, excelling at all three phases of the game, rolled to a 9-0 win over Lakeridge in an OIBA season-ending tournament first-round game played Thursday at Lake Oswego High School.
"We're coming together as a team, and playing a lot better," said Cameron Atkinson, a Tualatin High School senior-to-be, who pitched five shutout innings in the victory. "I feel like we're all a part of it. Pitching's on, fielding's on and hitting's on."
"We felt a lot more comfortable today than we have in past games," said Tualatin senior-to-be Gavin Moore, who drove in three runs in the win. "We all came together as a team. We started hitting and we played some lockdown defense."
With the victory, Tualatin improved to 11-8 on the summer season. The Dawgs also advance to meet West Linn in a tourney quarterfinal game, starting at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Lake Oswego High School.
"Winning this today was real important," Moore said. "We've got West Linn tomorrow, and we want to play exactly like we did today, and hopefully win it."
The Dawgs got off to a fast start in Thursday's tourney opener with Lakeridge, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Moore doubled in Campbell Clarke for the game's first run. Cameron Springer then scored on a groundout by Jett Searle to give Tualatin a quick 2-0 advantage.
The Dawgs struck again in the top of the fourth inning. Joey Myers got things started with a one-out single to center field. Lucas Diggins followed with a triple to center field, plating Myers to make the score 3-0. Clarke followed that up with a two-run home run over the fence in right-center field, upping the margin to 5-0.
Tualatin added another run in the top of the fifth. Searle, leading off the frame, doubled to left field. Then, with one out in the inning, he stole third base and scored on a Lakeridge throwing error on the play, giving the Dawgs a 6-0 cushion.
Tualatin capped off the scoring by scoring three more times in the top of the sixth inning. Atkinson, leading off, drew a walk. Springer followed with a double down the left-field line, with Atkinson advancing to third on the hit. Moore then doubled to right-center field, driving in both Atkinson and Springer to make the score 8-0.
Two outs later, Tommy Harvey tripled to center field, driving in pinch runner Cole Van Valin, making the final 9-0.
"This showed us what we're capable of, and how far we can go next year," Moore said.
"We want to keep it going," Atkinson said. "We want to keep winning."
Atkinson, in Thursday's game, threw five shutout innings on the mound, giving up two hits, while striking out two and walking two.
"I felt confident," he said "I was really confident in my team and our defense."
Jacob Kreitzer pitched the final two frames for the Dawgs.
Tualatin, as a team, had 11 base hits in the win. Moore helped lead the offensive attack, going 2 for 4 at the plate with a pair of doubles.
"That felt amazing," he said with a smile.
Springer went 2 for 4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Searle went 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Diggins went 2 for 2 with a triple, a sacrifice bunt, a run scored and an RBI. Clarke had a two-run home run and scored twice. Myers had a hit and a run scored.
Tualatin had an errorless game on defense.
Tualatin, if it wins its game with West Linn on Friday, will play in a tournament semifinal game Saturday at 2 p.m. The tournament championship game will be played Saturday at 5 p.m.