Tualatin team tops Sherwood in tourney tilt
CLACKAMAS — The Tualatin OIBA baseball team got off to a fast start.
The Dawgs also had a strong finish.
In between, the Tualatin squad had to try and fight off a furious Sherwood rally.
And that strong finish turned out to make the difference.
The Dawgs, scoring four unanswered runs in the final two innings, got a 9-5 win over the Bowmen in a first-round game of the Clackamas Diamond Classic, played Thursday at Clackamas High School.
"Today, we started off well, swinging the bats in the first inning," Tualatin High School senior-to-be Joey Myers said after the game. "We've got to stay on the bats longer, throughout the game, and limit walks with our pitching. We played pretty good defense today, which I was happy with. And, when it matters, we came up big and got hits. It's always good to get a win."
"It went really well," said Tualatin senior-to-be Shaun Christensen, who scored a pair of runs in the contest. "We hit really well at the beginning. We then had a couple tough innings, but then we got back at the end."
With the victory, the fifth in a row for the Tualatin squad, the Dawgs improved to 14-3, to that point, on the summer season.
"We just have a lot to prove this year," Christensen said. "I think a lot of people are underestimating us. We have an edge going into this season."
"We've got a lot of new guys coming in," Myers said. "Up and down the lineup, we've gotten a lot more production, which is nice to see. We've got to keep playing clean baseball. On the mound, we've got to limit walks. But I see us winning a lot of games next year."
Sherwood, playing an abbreviated schedule this summer, moved to 5-2 at that point with the setback.
"It went pretty good. We've got a young team, so we're just working through it." said Sherwood High School senior-to-be Kade Emmons. "We're trying to get together as a team. We've never played as a team before, so we're trying to build that communication."
Tualatin got off to a fast start in Thursday's tournament contest, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Campbell Clarke got things going for the Dawgs with a leadoff double to right field. Clarke then moved to third on Christensen's one-out double to right, with Christensen advancing to second base on a throw to the plate.
Myers followed with a single to right field, driving in both Clarke and Christensen, giving Tualatin a quick 2-0 lead. Myers then stole second base, and then scored on a single by Maxwell Krahnke, upping the margin to 3-0.
Sherwood got one of those runs back in the bottom of the first. Kaedin Steindorf drew a one-out walk to get things going. He moved to second on a wild pitch. Emmons then also walked, with Steindorf advancing to third base on a wild pitch on ball four. Steindorf then scored on a groundout by Caden Davis, trimming the Tualatin lead to 3-1.
The scored stayed at 3-1 until the Dawgs were able to score twice in the top of the fourth inning. Xavier Otto got things started for Tualatin with a first-pitch leadoff single to left field. Kevin Bergh then grounded into a fielder's choice, with Otto being forced out at second. Then, after Connor Goodhue walked, Bergh scored when Sherwood committed an error on a grounder by Riley Maclean. Goodhue scored later in the frame on a passed ball, giving the Dawgs a 5-1 lead.
But the Bowmen came back, in a big way, in the bottom of the frame. Emmons, leading off the inning, was hit by a pitch. Davis and Jackson Hannan then drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases with no outs. Emmons then scored from third on a wild pitch, cutting the lead to 5-2.
Davis would score on a wild pitch, Jack Fulwiler drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Hannan and Eli Holbert, who walked, scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Woods, tying the game at 5-5.
"It was just a team effort," Emmons said of the rally. "We all just got together, and went from there."
Now, it was Tualatin's turn to answer back. The Dawgs did just that, regaining the lead with a run in the top of the sixth inning. Krahnke, leading off the inning, drew a walk. Krahnke then stole second base and moved to third on an infield single by Otto. Bergh followed with a single to left, plating Krahnke to give Tualatin a 6-5 lead.
"I was saying that we've got to get one back," Myers said. "We've got to make sure to turn the urgency on. Get got timely hitting to come back after they tied us."
The Dawgs then added onto their lead by scoring three more runs in the top of the seventh.
Christensen singled in Thomas Schuh, Krahnke drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Shawn Hunt and Otto was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in Christensen, making the final score 9-5.
"We just had such urgency. We realized that we had to get stuff done," Christensen said. "We decided to get some hits, put some stuff together and get some runs."
Tualatin, as a team, had nine hits in the victory. Christensen helped lead the offensive attack, going 2 for 4 at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI. Otto went 2 for 2 with an RBI. Myers and Krahnke each went 1 for 2 with a run scored and two RBIs.
Jackson Larrance and Maclean combined to pitch the Dawgs to the victory.
"Having guys start the process was really important," Christensen said. "Then we were able to follow it up. Getting runs across like that is really important to us."
"This was pretty fun," Myers said. "I love coming out and getting a good win to start a tournament."
For Sherwood, Holden Gilbert and James McGoffin each had a hit. Emmons didn't have an official at-bat, but reached base in all three of his plate appearances, drawing two walks and getting hit by a pitch.
"We're just trying to get bigger," Emmons said. "We're a pretty small team, so we're just trying to hit the ball harder."
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