Beaverton gets a 3-2 win in the OIBA tourney opener

OREGON CITY — Solid pitching.

Timely hitting.

Clutch defensive plays.

The Beaverton OIBA baseball team seemed to have it all — and the Beavers needed it all.

Beaverton, coming through in the clutch late in the contest, scored a 3-2 win over the Tualatin-based Suburban Door Dawgs in a first-round game of the OIBA season-ending tournament, held Tuesday at Oregon City High TIMES PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Beaverton catcher Ryan Hill is ready to tag out Tualatins Chris Fishback in the sixth inning of Tuesdays game.

“This was a huge win,” said Casey Cornell, who pitched all eight innings for Beaverton in the victory. “This was a big confidence-builder for us. Tualatin is a real good team. We proved we can beat anyone.”

“It's huge,” Beaverton center fielder Nolan Lafollette said of the win. “It keeps us in the winners' bracket. We brought the intensity today. When Ryan (Hill) slid to the plate (in the top of the eighth inning), he popped right up and started screaming. We were into it.”

With the victory, Beaverton advanced to play in the winners' bracket quarterfinal rounds round of the 16-team, double-elimination event. The Beavers were slated to face McMinnville on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when The Valley Times went to press.

If Beaverton won on Wednesday, it will play in a winners' bracket semifinal game today (Thursday), starting at 4:30 p.m., at Oregon City High School. If the Beavers lost on Wednesday, they'll play in a losers' bracket second-round game today, starting at 9 a.m., at Tigard High School.

Beaverton got off to a fast start in Tuesday's tournament-opener against Tualatin, getting a run in the top of the first inning.

Josh Hill got things going for the Beavers when he reached first base on a Tualatin error with one out in the frame. Ryan Hill followed with a triple to the gap in right-center field, driving in Josh Hill to give Beaverton its early TIMES PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Beaverton pitcher Casey Cornwell fires a pitch against Tualatin in the Beavers 3-2 win.

The Beavers added on another run in the top of the second inning. Lafollette doubled to center field to lead off the frame. Lafollette moved to third base on a wild pitch and then scored on a groundout by Calvin Krech to up the lead to 2-0.

But Beaverton would fine the going tough against Tualatin pitcher Jacob Bennett for the rest of regulation play.

Meanwhile, the Dawgs, getting RBI singles from Karter Cook and Tanner Marsh, scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2.

The Tualatin team then threatened, in a big way, in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Dawgs got a leadoff single by Taylor Boos and Bryce Haskin and Danny Williams each drew walks to load the bases with one out.

Marsh, batting next for Tualatin, hit a fly ball to Lafollette in center field. Lafollette, after making the catch, rifled a strike to catcher Ryan Hill, who tagged out Tualatin pinch runner Chris Fishback, who tried to score on the play, to complete an inning-ending double play.

“I knew I had to come up firing,” Lafollette said of the play. “We needed it. I gave it all I could, and it was right there.”

After a scoreless seventh inning, Beaverton was able to break through in the top of the TIMES PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Beaverton second baseman Rob Lavey (right) flips the ball to first baseman Josh Hill.

With two outs in the frame and the bases empty, Ryan Hill reached first base on a Tualatin error. Rob Valentine followed with a single to right field, with Hill moving to second base on the hit.

Tualatin then allowed Sam Noyer's grounder to bound past the infield, with Hill scoring on the play to give Beaverton a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Cornwell, still going strong on the mound, got the first two Tualatin batters to ground out. Haskin drew a two-out walk to put the potential tying run on base, but Cornwell then got Cook to ground out to Valentine at third base, wrapping up the 3-2 victory.

Cornwell, in getting the complete game pitching victory, gave up two runs on five hits while striking out six in eight innings of work.

“I felt good today,” Cornwell said. “I pitched on Friday, and didn't do as well. I wanted to prove myself today.”

Beaverton, as a team, had four base hits in the contest. Valentine had two hits in the game while Ryan Hill and Lafollette added one hit apiece.

“Now, we have to keep the intensity moving,” Lafollette said. “And we need to bring the bats.”

“We have to continue winning,” Cornwell said.

The OIBA tournament is slated to run through Saturday at Oregon City and Tigard, with the championship game slated for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Tigard High TIMES PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Beaverton shortstop Calvin Kelsch goes up to get the ball while Tualatins Brandon Shroyer heads to the base.

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