Beaverton bows out of OIBA playoffs in three vs. Century

Century takes the deciding game by 4-3 on Saturday to end Beaverton's summer season OIBA campaign

There were some high points, and some other points, for the Beaverton OIBA team this summer.

Among the highlights were the team's battle to .500 in Murphy Division play and its split in the first two games of its best two-of-three elimination playoff series against Century.

But Beaverton, which competed for much of its summer with only 10 players, saw its summer season end on one of those 'other' points on Saturday, when Century won the deciding game 4-3 to clinch. Century opened the 16-team, double-elimination OIBA championship tournament against Dr. Barney's last night (Wednesday) at Lakeridge High School.

'We wanted to keep playing, but we learned a lot this summer,' said Beaverton coach Derek Nekoba. 'We got to see areas of strength and weakness, and to see the way these guys competed was good.'

Century 7, Beaverton 4

BEAVERTON - Beaverton raced to a 4-0 first-inning lead in the series opener at Beaverton High, but could not hold it.

Beaverton put its first five players on base and scored four runs on four hits, one walk and one wild pitch. But Century pitcher Brad Bennett was rock-solid the rest of the way, setting down 21 of the final 25 batters he faced, striking out four along the way.

Century got started with a solo homer from Kyle Billeci in the second inning, then added a two-run single from Aaron Beadle in his team's three-run third to tie it 4-4. Century then tacked on three more scores on a single, a Beaverton error and a wild pitch in the fourth for that final 7-4 margin.

'We didn't field very well and we just couldn't muster enough offense to win,' Nekoba said.

Beaverton 9, Century 8

BEAVERTON - Beaverton made sure there was no sweep in Friday's nightcap, rallying from deficits of 5-2 deficit in the fourth inning and 8-7 going into the bottom of the seventh.

Beaverton third baseman Jackson Harbolt opened the seventh with a double to left, and he scored to tie the game on a single, walk and hit batter.

Then with the bases loaded one out, Century's pitcher uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the winning run to race home from third base.

'Our kids competed,' Nekoba said. 'We could have easily folded but we didn't. It says a lot about our kids' character.'

Century 4, Beaverton 3

HILLSBORO - The Beavers had a chance to advance on Saturday too, leading the series-clinching contest early on before Century came back to win.

'I hurt for the … kids that competed their (tails) off this summer,' Nekoba said, crediting Brandon Cornwell for his consistent team-leading hitting in the series.

Beaverton led 1-0 early, gave up the tying run on an error, then made another defensive miscue in the third frame and saw Century pull ahead 3-1. Beaverton rallied with two runs in the sixth, though, eventually tying the game at 3-3 on catcher Austin Dunham's run-scoring single in the sixth.

But Century - benefiting from yet another Beaverton error - got the game-winner in the seventh. There, Tanner Cole was hit by a pitch, took second on a wild pitch, then scored when Lauden Lusey hit a liner off Harbolt's glove and down the third-base line.