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Dawgs take aim at the title

Tualatin's Suburban Door OIBA squad is taking a 31-5 record into the tournament
by: DAN BROOD WELCOME HOME — Tualatin’s Austin Marsh (right) is greeted by his teammates after hitting home run in Saturday’s 10-1 win over Lakeridge.

TUALATIN - They're like the proverbial runaway train.

There seems to be no stopping them.

And no one can stand in their way - Lakeridge certainly couldn't.

There may be no team hotter than the Suburban Door Dawgs heading into the OIBA baseball season-ending tournament.

The Tualatin-based team continued its scorching summer play by sweeping Lakeridge by scores of 10-0 and 10-1 in a best-of-three series, held Friday and Saturday, to pick up more steam heading into the tournament.

'We've put it all together,' said Nathan Suyematsu, a Tualatin High School senior-to-be who threw a no-hitter in the Dawgs' first win over Lakeridge. 'We've meshed as a team and we're definitely having fun. We all love summer ball.'

Suburban Door, the No. 1 team out of the OIBA Olin Division, upped its summer record to 31-5 going into the 16-team, double-elimination tournament, which started Wednesday and runs through Sunday at Lakeridge and Sunset high schools.

'Our goal is to win the whole thing,' Suburban Door coach Adam Strachan said. 'We're ready for anyone. We just need to stick with our brand of baseball.'

'We want to show what we can do,' Suyematsu said. 'Our ultimate goal is to win it all, but we know that anyone can win it. So, we have to play good baseball.'

'We hope to win it all,' Suburban Door designated hitter Austin Marsh said. 'We need to play as a team and just keep doing what we've been doing.'

The Tualatin squad was scheduled to face Robinson Construction from Westview in a tournament first-round game Wednesday at Lakeridge High School. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.

If Suburban Door won on Wednesday, it will face either Clackamas or Oregon City in a quarterfinal game today (Thursday) starting at 3:30 p.m. at Lakeridge High School.

If the Tualatin team lost on Wednesday, it will face Clackamas or Oregon City in a losers' bracket first round game starting at 10 a.m. today at Lakeridge High School.

Suburban Door got off to a blazing start to postseason play, getting a 10-0, five-inning win over Lakeridge, the No. 2 team from the Pesky Division, in the first game of the team's best-of-three series played Friday at Lakeridge High School.

Suyematsu recorded his no-hitter in that contest.

'I do better in the sunshine,' he said with a smile. 'All of my pitches were working. And I just relied on our defense.'

In Saturday's second game of the series, Lakeridge took an early lead, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Cooper Hummel drove in Conor Griffin with a two-out triple to center field.

The Dawgs quickly answered back in their half of the inning. Suyematsu got things started with a one-out double down the left-field line. He moved to third base on a Lakeridge throwing error on a pickoff attempt and then scored on a groundout by Marsh to tie the game at 1-1.

The Tualatin squad then took charge of the game in the second inning.

Nick Bland drew a leadoff walk to ignite the big inning for Suburban Door. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gunnar Gustafson and then moved to third on a wild pitch. Then, after Brandon Durdel walked, Bland scored on a squeeze bunt by Jon Fishback, giving the Dawgs a 2-1 lead.

They didn't stop there.

Suyematsu reached base on a bunt single to put runners on first and third with two outs.

Marsh then came through with the big hit of the game as he blasted a three-run home run over the fence in left-center field, giving Suburban Door a 5-1 lead.

'I was just looking for something to drive,' Marsh said of his second home run of the summer season. 'I hit it hard. It was a good feeling.'

The Tualatin team kept rolling from there. Cooper Brunner walked to lead off the bottom of the third inning. He moved to third base on Matt Miller's hit-and-run double down the left-field line. Brunner then scored on a wild pitch.

Miller would then score on Gustafson's one-out single to left-upping the lead to 7-1.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Tualatin's C.J. Michael hit a one-out single to left and he ended up scoring on a double by Jake Gallows. Connor Scott scored later in the inning on a Lakeridge throwing error.

In the sixth inning, Suyematsu hit a leadoff double to left-center field. He moved to third on a groundout by Scott Allred and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Schlottmann to cap off the 10-1 victory.

Bland and Scott combined to pitch Suburban Door to the victory.

Bland started the game on the mound and threw the first four innings. He gave up one run on four hits while striking out five and walking none. Scott threw three shutout innings. He allowed one hit while striking out five and walking none.

'Nick and Connor both threw great,' Strachan said. 'We've got at least five guys who could be No. 1 pitchers.'

Suburban Door, as a team, had 10 hits in the game, including five extra-base hits. Suyematsu went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored.

Marsh went 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBI. Miller, Gustafson, Michael, Gallows and Kyle George each had one hit.

The OIBA tournament is set to run through Sunday with the championship game set to be played at 4 p.m. at Sunset High School.