Bowmen battle strong against one of the best
SHERWOOD — The Bowmen battled.
They battled against one of the best.
They battled to the end. But they came up just one run — maybe even just one hit — short.
The Sherwood High School baseball team seemed to show that it's ready, and capable, of competing against the best teams in the state, as it was edged 4-3 by second-ranked Century in a Pacific Conference game played last Thursday at Sherwood High School.
"It shows that we can compete with the top teams in the state," Sherwood senior Sage Dunaway said after the game. "They were ranked second, so this shows we can compete. This shows we can win against any team."
"This shows that we're right up with them, and we'll take it to them tomorrow," Sherwood senior Keegan Kemper said. "This is a good tune-up at the end of the season to get ready for the playoffs."
With the win, Century, which entered the game as the No. 2 team in the OSAA power rankings, improved to 15-2 in conference play (21-3 overall) at that point, keeping the Jaguars in first place in the league standings. Sherwood moved to 9-5 in conference games (14-9 overall) at that point, keeping the Bowmen in third place in the standings.
"It wasn't too good, since we lost, but we hit well," Dunaway said. "They were just on top of the ball. They don't mess up much, and they're a dominant-hitting team."
The Bowmen actually got off to a strong start, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning to take the early lead. Senior Anthony Garrett got things started for Sherwood with a leadoff single to center field. Garrett moved to second base on a wild pitch and then advance to third on sophomore Jackson Hannan's single to left field. Sophomore Caden Davis followed with a single to left field, driving in Garrett for the first run of the game.
Hannan scored later in the inning on a groundout by Kemper, giving the Bowmen an early 2-0 advantage.
Century, getting an RBI double by senior Blake Baccay and an RBI single by junior Cooper Hewett, scored twice in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2. Century senior Jared Gordon then hit a two-run double in the top of the fifth inning, giving the Jaguars a 4-2 lead.
Sherwood got run of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Ian Umlandt got things going by drawing a one-out walk. Umlandt moved to second base on a wild pitch and then he moved to third on another wild pitch, coming with two outs in the frame. Umlandt then scored when Century committed an error on a grounder hit by junior Kade Emmons, cutting the Century lead to 4-3.
Sherwood still faced the one-run deficit going into the bottom of the seventh. Kemper, coming to the plate with one out, hit a first-pitch single to center field.
"I didn't want to wait around for an off-speed pitch," Kemper said. "I wanted to take that first-pitch fastball. I got it right off the handle and took it up the middle. That felt great."
Umlandt then flew out to deep right-center field. Dunaway then also hit the ball hard, flying out to deep center field, leaving Century with the 4-3 win.
"it was just unlucky, but they also have some really good outfielders," Dunaway said. "We were close. We just didn't have the energy. But, other than that, I think we did pretty good against a really good team."
"I think it went alright," Kemper said. "We could have jumped on the ball a little bit more when we were at bat. Sometimes, that's just how games go. We have to come back out tomorrow and give it the best we've got."
Garrett, Hannan, Davis and Kemper each had one hit for the Bowmen in the contest. Dunaway pitched the first five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits, while striking out eight and walking none. Senior Everett Moore and Umlandt each pitched one inning of scoreless relief for Sherwood.
For Century, Baccay and Hewitt each had a pair of hits. Gordon pitched the first six innings, striking out five and walking two.
On Friday, Sherwood bounced back to get a 6-2 victory over the Jaguars in a game played at Century High School.
Dunaway went 4 for 4 at the plate in that game, with a double, a triple and three runs scored. Umlandt went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Garrett went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Senior Tyler Hix doubled and scored a run.
Garrett picked up the pitching win, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits, while striking out six and walking three in five and two-thirds innings on the mound.
On Monday, Sherwood was edged 4-3 by McMinnville in a conference game played at Patton Middle School in McMinnville. Emmons went 3 for 4 with an RBI in that game.
The teams will meet again Tuesday at Sherwood, starting at 5 p.m. The three game series will conclude Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. game at Patton Middle School.