The Bowmen now are getting ready for the state playoffs

by: DAN BROOD - BIG SWING -- Sherwood senior Cyrus Mooney takes a big cut during the Bowmen's 14-2 victory at Parkrose last week. PARKROSE — It seemed to be just a formality.

All the Sherwood High School baseball team had to do to wrap up sole possession of the Northwest Oregon Conference championship was to beat winless Parkrose in a league finale.

But the focused Bowmen weren’t taking anything for granted. So they went out and powered their way to the NWOC title by smacking the Broncos 14-2 in a NWOC finale played last Thursday at Parkrose.

“This means a lot to us,” Sherwood senior first baseman Joseph Balfour said of the league crown. “It’s the right step for us to take before the playoffs. It builds our confidence. Of course, our top goal is to win state, but first, we had to take league.”

“For a lot of us, it’s our senior year and it’s great to be the champs,” Sherwood senior catcher Jake Urbach said. “We put in the work for it.”

With the loss, Parkrose finished its season with a final NWOC record of 0-17 while going 0-24 on the season. Sherwood finished NWOC play at 15-2 (20-6 overall, to that point), putting the Bowmen one game ahead of second-place Sandy in the final league standings.

“These guys deserve it,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said. “They’ve worked their butts off since Day One. I’m super proud of them.”

It didn’t take long for the Bowmen to switch their focus from the league championship to the upcoming Class 5A state playoffs. Sherwood will host a state playoff first-round game against a yet-to-be determined opponent on Wednesday.

“We’re absolutely excited for the playoffs,” Urbach said. “We want to do deep.”

“We’re excited and we’re confident going in,” Balfour said. “We know we can make a run if we play our game. Our game is bunting, defense, pitching and having a good approach at the plate. We’re really close. We’re playing for a common goal.”

“We’re going to need to bring intensity every day,” Urbach said.

The Bowmen seemed to bring intensity early in Friday’s game at Parkrose.

Sherwood took advantage of an error and hits by sophomore Zak Taylor and junior Jake Reimer to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

The Bowmen then tacked on five more runs in the top of the second. Senior Cyrus Mooney got things going in the frame with a one-out double to left field. Balfour then drew a walk. Then, after both runners moved up a base on a double steal, Mooney scored on a wild pitch to make the score 3-0.

Balfour then scored on a bunt single by Urbach to push the margin to 4-0. Urbach and Taylor, who singled, each scored on Parkrose errors later in the inning and senior Anthony Sherwood drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Reimer, making the score 7-0. In the top of the third inning, Balfour led off with a walk and Urbach followed with an RBI double to right-center field to up the margin to 8-0.

Parkrose got an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to 8-1.

But Sherwood answered with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Mooney and senior Jordan Morales were each hit by a pitch to start the frame. One out later, Mooney scored on an error to make the score 9-1. Reimer then plated Morales with a sacrifice fly. Senior Joey Chamberlain singled in junior Riley Moore and Chamberlain would eventually score on an error to up the lead to 12-1.

Sherwood got its final two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Mooney scored from third on a fielder’s choice hit by Urbach, who later scored on a wild pitch to help cap off the win.

“This was a good one,” Strohmaier said. “The kids played well and we got a lot of players into the game.”

Senior Charlie Paul picked up the pitching win for the Bowmen. In a complete-game performance, the left-hander gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits while striking out eight and walking one.

Urbach went 2 for 5 at the plate with two runs scored and three RBIs. Taylor, Chamberlain and Mooney added two hits apiece.

Following the win over Parkrose, the Bowmen posted an 8-4 victory over Sunset in a non-league game played Saturday at Sunset High School.

Sherwood was slated to play at Hillsboro in a non-league contest on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

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