Sherwood also bests Hermiston in Class 5A state playoff action

by: DAN BROOD - GOT HIM -- Sherwood High School senior catcher Jacob Urbach (right) shows the umpire the ball after tagging out Crescent Valley's Chris Hoppe during last week's state playoff game played at Wilsonville. The Bowmen got a 2-1 victory. WILSONVILLE — Neither rain.

Nor a power outage.

Nor an early 1-0 deficit against a talented Crescent Valley team.

Nope. The Sherwood High School baseball team wasn’t going to let any of those things keep it from opening the Class 5A state playoffs with the victory.

The Bowmen, fighting off the elements — and the Raiders — posted a 2-1 victory over Crescent Valley in a Class 5A state playoff first-round game played May 22 at Wilsonville High School.

“This is awesome,” said Sherwood senior catcher Jacob Urbach, who was part of a key defensive play in addition to driving in the winning run in the contest. “We went out there and gutted this one out. This is great. I love playing with these guys, and I’m not done.”

“This was tough, but we pulled through,” said Bowmen junior Riley Moore, who was the winning pitcher in the contest. “This was definitely awesome. This is what we worked all year for.”

Crescent Valley, the Mid-Willamette Conference champion, finished its season with a final overall record of 20-8. Sherwood, the Northwest Oregon Conference champion, improved to 22-6 at that point on the season with the victory. The Bowmen also advanced to play at Hermiston in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal game on Friday (see below).

by: DAN BROOD - HOT CORNER -- Sherwood senior third baseman Alex Barzee gets ready to make a throw to first during the Bowmen's win over Crescent Valley.“This was a good win,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said of the victory over Crescent Valley. “We played through a lot of adversity today, and the kids handled it well.”

For the Bowmen, the adversity started earlier in the day, as a power outage in Sherwood led to an early dismissal from school, and it also meant the team couldn’t get in any pregame batting practice at the school.

“We had a lot of adversity today, with the power outage and, because of the rain, we didn’t even know if we’d play,” Urbach said. “We knew it would be a long day.”

Crescent Valley jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in last week’s contest, getting a run in the top of the first inning. Raider junior Tanner Sanders reached base on a Sherwood throwing error with two outs in the frame and he ended up scoring on a bases-loaded walk to give Crescent Valley its early advantage.

The Raiders had a chance to add onto their lead in the top of the second inning. With two outs in the frame, and with Crescent Valley sophomore Chris Hoppe on second base, Raider senior Layne Croney doubled to right field.

But Sherwood sophomore shortstop Zak Taylor, after taking a relay throw from senior right fielder Anthony Sherwood, threw out Hoppe at home plate, with Urbach making the tag, to keep the score a 1-0.

“That was a great throw by Zak,” Urbach said. “That play got us all amped up.”

The amped-up Bowmen struck for their first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning.

Junior Jake Reimer drew a leadoff walk to get things started. Reimer moved to second with one out in the inning when Crescent Valley committed a throwing error following a grounder by Taylor. Bowmen senior Logan Ballarché then drew a walk to load the bases. Reimer then scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Sherwood, tying the game at DAN BROOD - WINNING PITCHER -- Sherwood junior Riley Moore throws a first-inning pitch during the Bowmen's state playoff win over Crescent Valley.

The teams remained tied until the Bowmen were able to strike again in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sherwood hit a line-drive single to center field to start the frame. Sherwood then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by senior Cyrus Mooney and he advanced to third on an infield single by senior Joseph Balfour.

Urbach then drove in Sherwood with a safety squeeze bunt, giving the Bowmen a 2-1 lead.

“I took a deep breath and told myself to put the bunt down perfectly down the first-base line,” Urbach said. “And I did it — I was really pumped up.”

Moore, after giving up a leadoff single in the top of the sixth inning, put the next three Raider batters down in order to keep the score at 2-1.

That’s when the rain really started to come down hard, leading to a rain delay.

Play was resumed 45 minutes later — with the rain still coming down hard. Sherwood wasn’t able to score in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, Balfour, pitching in relief, put the Raiders down in order to wrap up the 2-1 victory.

“This was a good win — any win is always a good win,” Moore said. “We were prepared for everything today.”

Moore, in his six innings of work, gave up one unearned run on seven hits while striking out five and walking two.

“Riley threw awesome,” Strohmaier said.

“I love Riley,” said Urbach, who also threw out a Crescent Valley runner in a stolen-base attempt. “He had great stuff.”

The Bowmen had just two hits in the contest, singles by Sherwood and Balfour.

Sherwood 8, Hermiston 7

The Bowmen came from behind, time and time again, to get a road win over Hermiston in a state playoff quarterfinal game on Friday.

Sherwood, trailing 4-0 at the time, scored a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning. Taylor reached base on an error to start the inning, Reimer followed with an RBI single. Reimer then scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by senior Alex Barzee to make the score 4-2.

Trailing 5-2 going into the fifth inning, the Bowmen struck again. Senior Colton Waker reached base on an error to get things going. One out later, Balfour and Urbach had back-to-back singles, with Waker scoring on Urbach’s hit. Taylor followed with an RBI double, Reimer drove in a run with a fielder’s choice and Barzee singled in a run to give Sherwood a 6-5 lead.

But, with the Bulldogs answering with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bowmen found themselves trailing 7-6 going into the seventh.

Balfour singled to lead off the top of the seventh inning. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Urbach. Taylor then blasted a triple, driving in Balfour. Taylor also came around to score on the play, when Hermiston bobbled the relay throw, giving the Bowmen an 8-7 lead.

Balfour, who took over on the mound in relief during the sixth inning, struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to wrap up the victory.

Taylor went 2 for 4 at the plate in the win with three runs scored and two RBIs.

Barzee went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Balfour went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and Reimer went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

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