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Getting down to business

Aloha wins its first two games against Westview before the Cats get a win
by: MILES VANCE, THROWN OUT — Aloha senior shortstop Travis Holz takes a throw from first baseman Dylan Jones to force out Westview’s Chris Evola during the third inning of Aloha’s 5-0 loss to Westview at Tigard High School.

TIGARD - Two of the Metro League's baseball heavyweights went toe-to-toe in the first round last week, and while Westview left with two black eyes and Aloha one, neither scored a knockout.

The Warriors (2-1 in league, 7-6 overall) won the first two games of the series, beating the Wildcats (1-2, 9-5) by a 1-0 score behind Dylan Jones' shutout pitching performance at Aloha High School, then took game two 16-5 at Tigard High on Friday behind Sean O'Connor's pitching, a strong day with the bats and a fair bit of help by the Westview defense.

But Westview made sure it didn't go home empty-handed, rallying past Aloha 5-0 in the latter half of Friday's doubleheader at Tigard. Wildcat senior pitcher Dan Fitterer limited Aloha to just one hit, one walk and one batter hit by pitch in his six innings of work while striking out seven, then gave way to Joel Warneking for a scoreless seventh.

'I thought it was a pretty big deal and it shows how we actually play and how we're capable of playing,' Fitterer said of his game-three victory. 'You want to win every game, so we just took that competitive feeling, used that anger from the loss earlier in the day and used that for our benefit.'

'The first one was just horrible and the coaches weren't too happy,' said Westview junior third baseman Chris Evola, who went 4-for-4 at the plate and scored twice. 'We felt a little pressure, but we were a lot looser (in Friday's second game). At least we left on a good note and hopefully it will continue on.'

For their part, the Warriors were disappointed with the series finale but thrilled to have taken two from the highly regarded Wildcats.

'Losing the last one was hard but getting two out of three was good for us,' said Aloha senior shortstop Travis Holz, who handled three chances without an error in Friday's second game. 'That was one of our team goals this year, to win every series, so you take two out of three every series and maybe get a sweep in there one time and you're looking good.'

'That's our goal coming into the season; we feel if we can win two out of three, we'll make the playoffs,' said Aloha coach Matt Bailie. 'We want to win every game and score as many wins as we can and get that competitiveness.'

Westview grabbed a 1-0 lead in the series finale's first inning when David Bishop and Andrew DeGarmo collected back-to-back singles and Bishop scored on a wild pitch with two outs. The Cats scored their other four runs in the top of the fifth when they loaded the bases with no outs, forced one run home when Brent Cech was hit by a pitch, Kyle Larson forced in another with a walk and two more came home when Austyn Cole chopped a single into left.

And that was more than enough for Fitterer, who gave up just a two-out fifth inning single to Aloha's Chris Rise in the game. He also set the Warriors down in order twice and struck out two in three different innings.

'I was just taking my time, relaxing and going to the mitt,' said Fitterer, who transferred to Westview this year from Beaverton. 'I had the defense behind me playing real good, so it was nice to have the solid defense. You don't worry about anything happening if it gets in play; I know they'll have my back.'

'That was a great effort,' said Westview coach Steve Antich. 'He's going to surprise some people this year.'

Evola was the only player in the game with more than one hit, though teammate Ben Pressler doubled and scored once in the win. Aloha starter Bryon Clevenger went five innings, allowed five runs on seven hits, four walks and two hit batsmen while striking out six.