TROUTDALE Reynolds pitcher Joseph Palmisano was the Raiders go-to ace in big games during the varsity season. On Friday, he showed why.
Palmisano tossed a two-hit shutout against Beaverton and led Reynolds to an 8-0 victory in Game 1 of its three-game OIBA playoff series.
Palmisano never appeared overpowering on the surface. He didnt blow heaters by Beaverton hitters and he didnt rack up strikeout after strikeout, but he did throw strikes and let the Beavers put the ball in play. As Palmisano changed speeds and moved the ball around the zone, Beaverton struggled to hit the ball squarely. Palmisano forced the Beavers into an endless string of ground balls and pop-outs. They became visibly frustrated as they cursed under their breathes and spiked their bats into the ground.
Joe is our bulldog, Reynolds coach Kyle Swoboda said. He is going to go out there and battle. Hes going to throw strikes and not walk guys. He keeps them off-balanced enough that they arent going to hit the ball hard very often.
Cameron Sheets led the Raiders offense going 2 for 3 with a walk, while Jake Erdman came around to score three times.
Beaverton took the last two games of the series on Saturday to advance into the 16-team summer championship bracket.
Barlow was the only East County team to reach the 16-team summer championship tournament and opens play at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday against McMinnville at Oregon City High.
Look for expanded game coverage in the Tuesday, July 23, print edition.