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Dawgs tipped in tourney opener


Tualatin team will try to bounce back at the OIBA event

by: DAN BROOD - POWER PITCHER -- Suburban Door's Jacob Bennett fires in a pitch during Tuesday's tourney game. Bennett struck out 10 Beaverton batters in eight innings of work. OREGON CITY — The Dawgs, admittedly, didn’t play their best.

But, due to their determination, as well as strong pitching performance by Jacob Bennett, they still came oh-so-close to opening OIBA tournament play with a victory.

The Tualatin-based Suburban Door baseball squad fell 3-2 in eight innings to Beaverton in a first-round game of the OIBA season-ending tournament, held Tuesday at Oregon City High School.

“That was a fun game,” said Bennett, a Tualatin High School junior-to-be, who pitched all eight innings for the Dawgs in Tuesday’s contest. “We’re going up against good teams, and it’s just fun to come out here and play. It’s a great atmosphere.”

Suburban Door was hampered by five errors in the contest.

“I don’t think we could have played any worse,” Suburban Door coach Adam Strachan said. “The five errors put us in a tough situation, and we didn’t get hits when we needed to. But that’s baseball.”

With the victory, Beaverton advanced to play in the winners’ bracket quarterfinal round of the 16-team, double-elimination event.

With the setback, Suburban Door moved to the losers’ bracket. The Dawgs were slated to play Barlow in a losers’ bracket first-round game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

If Suburban Door won on Wednesday, it will play today (Thursday), at 11:30 a.m., in a losers’ bracket second-round game to be played at Oregon City High School.

“Now, we just have to take it one game at a time,” Bennett said. “It would be awesome to make a big run.”by: DAN BROOD - THE THROW -- Suburban Door second baseman Nathan Senger (right), next to shortstop Tanner Marsh, tries to complete a double play in Tuesday's tourney game.

Beaverton got off to a fast start in Tuesday’s tournament-opener against Tualatin, getting a run in the top of the first inning.

Josh Hill got things going for the Beavers when he reached first base on a Tualatin error with one out in the frame. Ryan Hill followed with a triple to the gap in right-center field, driving in Josh Hill to give Beaverton its early advantage.

The Beavers added on another run in the top of the second inning. Nolan Lafollette doubled to center field to lead off the frame. Lafollette moved to third base on a wild pitch and then scored on a groundout by Calvin Krech to up the lead to 2-0.

But Beaverton would fine the going tough against Jacob Bennett for the rest of regulation play.

Meanwhile, the Dawgs were able to strike back in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Taylor Boos was hit by a pitch with one out in the frame. Bryce Haskin then reached base on a Beaverton error. Karter Cook then singled in Boos to trim the Beaverton lead to 2-1. One out later, Tanner Marsh plated Haskin with a hit-and-run single to left field, tying the game up at 2-2.

With the game still knotted up at 2-2, Suburban Door threatened, in a big way, in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Dawgs got a leadoff single by Boos and then Haskin and Danny Williams each drew walks to load the bases with one out.

Marsh, batting next for Tualatin, hit a fly ball to Lafollette in center field. Lafollette, after making the catch, rifled a strike to catcher Ryan Hill, who tagged out Tualatin pinch runner Chris Fishback, who tried to score on the play, to complete an inning-ending double play.

After a scoreless seventh inning, Beaverton was able to break through in the top of the eighth.

With two outs in the frame and the bases empty, Hill reached first base on a Tualatin error. Rob Valentine followed with a single to right field, with Hill moving to second base on the hit.

The Dawgs then weren’t able to corral Sam Noyer’s grounder with the ball bounding past the infield. Hill scored on the play to give Beaverton a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Beaverton pitcher Casey Cornwell, got the first two Suburban Door batters to ground out. Haskin drew a two-out walk to put the potential tying run on base, but Cornwell then coaxed a game-ending groundout to wrap up his team’s 3-2 victory.

“It was intense,” Bennett said of the contest. “We all wanted to win, but, unfortunately, it didn’t go our way. But we have more chances.”

Bennett, in pitching the distance for Suburban Door, gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out 10 and walking none.

“It was a good pitchers’ duel,” Bennett said.

“Once Jacob settled in, they didn’t touch him,” Strachan said. “He made some adjustments and did a great job.”

Suburban Door, as a team, had five hits in the contest. Nathan Senger, Trevor Riese, Cook, Marsh and Boos each had one hit.

The OIBA tournament is slated to run through Saturday at Oregon City and Tigard, with the championship game slated for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Tigard High School.