Sherwood rolls to a 13-3 win in the quarterfinal tilt

ASHLAND — It read like a checklist.

Make a long trip. Get a good night’s sleep. Come out ready to go.

Get a huge state playoff win. Check, check, check and check.

The red-hot Sherwood High School baseball team struck early and often as it ran to a 13-3 win over Ashland in a Class 5A state playoff quarterfinal game played Friday at North Mountain Park.

“It was our best offensive performance of the year,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said. “We came down a day early and spent the night in a hotel. That helped our focus. We came out ready to play.”

With the loss, Ashland, the No. 4 team in the final OSAA power rankings, finished its season with a final overall record of 20-9. Northwest Oregon Conference champion Sherwood, the No. 5 team in the final OSAA power rankings, improved to 23-6 on the season with the win, its 19th straight on the season.

The defending state champion Bowmen also advanced to Tuesday’s state playoff semifinal round, where it faced NWOC foe Sandy (see related story).

In Friday’s game at Ashland, the Bowmen struck fast, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning.

Sherwood, getting RBI singles from seniors Travis Kotowski, Riley Moore and Scott Skurdahl, and taking advantage of three Ashland errors, scored five runs in the top of the first inning.

The Grizzlies got two of those runs back in the bottom of the frame, making the score 5-2, but the home team’s momentum was short-lived.

That’s because Sherwood, getting run-scoring singles from Moore and junior Cameron DuFault, scored four more times in the top of the second inning to push its advantage to 9-2.

“I think we put the game away after the second inning,” Strohmaier said.

Ashland scored a run in the bottom of the third inning to make the score 9-3, but the Grizzlies wouldn’t be able to score again.

Meanwhile, Sherwood scored two runs in each the fifth and sixth innings to wrap up the 13-3 victory.

The Bowmen, as a team, pounded out 19 hits in the victory.

“We hit early and often,” Strohmaier said.

Kotowski helped lead the hitting parade, going 4 for 5 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBIs. Senior Keegan Lawrence also went 4 for 5, with a run scored and an RBI.

Skurdahl went 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI. Moore went 2 for 4 with a run scored and two RBIs.

Junior Dayton Vaughn went 2 for 5 with a double, a stolen base, two runs scored and two RBIs. Junior Zak Taylor went 2 for 5 with a double and two runs scored. DuFault and sophomore Adley Rutschman added one hit apiece.

Taylor started on the mound and picked up the pitching win for the Bowmen. In five innings of work, he gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out six and walking none. Rutschman pitched the final two innings, giving up no runs on one hit with two strikeouts and one walk.

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