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Apollos trip up Wolves

Sunset notches an impressive 8-2 win over Tualatin in non-league action
by: JOHN LARIVIERE, SAFE AT HOME — Tualatin’s Levi Levasa slides safely home as Sunset catcher Kerry Degman lets the ball slip into the cloud of dust during the Apollos’ 8-2 win over the Timberwolves at Sunset High School last week.

TUALATIN - The way things started, it looked to be a long day (or maybe more accurately a short one) for Sunset starting pitcher Daniel Manus.

Manus walked the first batter he faced on four pitches then hit the third before a double play got him out of a jam and he settled in from there on out as the Apollo baseball team beat Tualatin 8-2 on Thursday at Tualatin High School.

Manus recovered from his shaky start to pitch six strong innings, striking out three and allowing six hits and two unearned runs to help Sunset improve to 2-0 on the season.

'I kind of felt like I was trying to do too much (in the first inning),' Manus said. 'The next inning, I went out and thought I have eight other guys out there with me.'

Tualatin took a 1-0 lead in the second when Levi Levasa doubled and later scored on a play at the plate, sliding in and knocking the ball out of the catcher's glove. But the Apollos took control in the third, scoring six runs on four hits and taking advantage of a few miscues by the Timberwolves, who fell to 1-1.

With one out, Ryan Kroon drew a walk and Mike Duggan lined a single into right to start Sunset's decisive third inning. The Apollos loaded the bases on Manus' fly ball to the outfield in which the left fielder slipped and the ball dropped in.

Sunset tied the game 1-1 when Kyle Chamberlain's liner was misjudged by the left fielder for a run-scoring error. Kyle Harper followed with a hard grounder off a diving shortstop's glove for an RBI-single plating Duggan for a 2-1 lead.

With the bases still loaded, Sunset first baseman DJ Johnson provided the crushing blow, lining a stand-up double off the fence in right-center to clear the bases.

'He threw me a fastball on the inner half,' Johnson said. 'I was looking for one pitch, one location. I got it and ripped it. I kind of thought I missed it. I didn't think it would go that far.'

Johnson, who went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, would later score on an error that gave the Apollos a commanding 6-1 lead.

'That was really important,' Johnson said of the five-run lead. 'We play our best when we're comfortable and ahead. It gets guys to settle down.'

Including Manus, who pitched scoreless third and fourth innings before allowing an unearned run in the fifth.

'That gave me confidence in the team and myself,' Manus said of the six-run third. 'I had a few runs to work with.'

He got additional support in the fifth. The Apollos added two more runs on David Hosmar's double into the right-center gap with two outs, driving in Johnson and Kerry Degman for an 8-1 lead.

That was more than enough support for Manus, who consistently got ahead of hitters and quickly worked through inning after inning before being relieved by RJ Hoffman, who pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.

'I expected to go four innings, maybe five at the most,' Manus said. 'My changeup was definitely my money pitch today.'

Despite a couple lapses that led to the two unearned runs, Manus got help from his defense as well, starting with a double play to get him out of the jam in the first inning.

Sunset had another twin killing in the fourth with an assist from Manus. With a run-

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