Reza Aleaziz throws a three-hitter to pace Southridge's 7-0 win

by: MILES VANCE - FIELD OF DREAMS - Southridge senior third baseman Stephen Wendt races to make a play in his team's 7-0 Metro League victory over Beaverton at Beaverton High School on Tuesday afternoon.

BEAVERTON — Beaverton’s baseball team was right where it wanted to be.

The Beavers, hosting Southridge on Tuesday in both teams’ Metro League opener, turned two double plays in the game’s first three innings and were tied with the visiting Skyhawks at 0-0.

But Southridge wasn’t going to be denied, and Skyhawk senior pitcher Reza Aleaziz wasn’t going to let the Beavers score. Southridge broke through for three runs in the top of the third, added another in the fifth, two more in the sixth and one in the seventh to pave the way to its 7-0 win at Beaverton High School.

The victory lifted Southridge’s Metro record to 1-0 and its overall mark to 4-7. The Beavers, meanwhile, fell to 0-1 in league and 4-6 overall.

“It’s definitely big for us to get this first win,” said Southridge senior shortstop Jacob Zanon, who went 2 for 4 at the plate, scored one run and knocked in another. “We had a rough start, but we’ll (turn over) a new leaf and I’m excited. I think we learned a lot about each other in the preseason and learned how to play together, and I think we’re ready.”

“League is where you want to play well and that’s what we’re trying to do,” added the University of Oregon-bound Aleaziz, who allowed just three hits, one walk and one hit batter while striking out eight. “I didn’t really have my stuff — some pitches were working, some weren’t, and my fastball wasn’t as fast as it was the last couple innings — but my teammates really helped me out.”

The youthful Beavers knew they hadn’t done enough to win on Tuesday, but remained confident of their chances in the series’ remaining two games. The Beavers played at Southridge yesterday (Wednesday) after the Valley Times’ press deadline, then host the Skyhawks again at 4:45 p.m. today (Thursday).

“We were just trying to get on base and take advantage of our opportunities,” said Beaverton sophomore shortstop Casey Cornwell, who went 1 for 3 at the plate and also handled five defensive chances without an error. “We had some (opportunities) but we didn’t take advantage of those.”by: MILES VANCE - FOR TWO - Beaverton sophomore shortstop Casey Cornwell turns a double play with Southridge senior Chandler Whitney sliding in and senior teammate Ryan Cowley backing up the play at Beaverton High School on Tuesday.

Beaverton starter Connor Shaw held his own in the game’s first three innings, shutting down the Skyhawks with a 1-2-3 first, then getting double plays turned by Beaver senior second baseman Ryan Cowley in both the second and third frames to keep the game scoreless.

But Shaw and Beaverton’s good fortune ended in the fourth. There, Zanon led off with a double to left field, then scored on Stephen Wendt’s single to right and a Beaverton error. Next, Southridge catcher Tanner Green drew a walk and Chandler Whitney followed with a single to center to make it 2-0 and chase Shaw from the game. And finally, Southridge’s third run scored when designated hitter Parker Stidham grounded into a double play.

The Beavers tried to rally with two hits in the bottom of the third, but Ryan Hill got picked off first by Green after singling, and Beaverton couldn’t score after that despite a single from Joey Losk and Connor Shaw reaching base on an error.

Beaverton threatened again with two baserunners in the sixth and seventh innings, but Aleaziz struck out two straight hitters to close out the sixth, then saw Green throw out Cornwell trying to advance to second on a dropped pitch in the seventh.

In the fifth, Southridge made it 4-0 when David Knudsen was hit by a pitch from Beaverton reliever Andrew Carter, took second on an Alex Beekman bunt and scored when Zanon singled to center.

The Skyhawks tacked on two runs in the sixth against reliever Austin Dunham — one of those on a Knudsen hit — and one more in the seventh when Chandler Whitney singled home Stephen Wendt for the final 7-0 margin.

“We’ll feed off of it and hopefully come out tomorrow just as strong,” Zanon said. “As long as we put runs up, I think we’ll win. I think our chances are good.”

The Beavers, disappointed as they were with Tuesday’s loss, knew that they still had a chance to bounce back and win the series, which continued yesterday (Wednesday) at Southridge after the Valley Times’ press deadline, and concludes with a 4:45 p.m. contest today (Thursday) at Beaverton High School.

“I feel like today we came out a little flat, but we’re going to come out tomorrow with a lot more fire in our bellies,” Cornwell said. “We didn’t hit the ball very well today and hopefully we can do that and get a couple wins and win the series.”

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