Tualatin opens defense of its title by beating Newberg

by: DAN BROOD - HOME RUN SWING -- Tualatin High School senior Jake Gellos connects for on a second-inning home run for the Timberwolves in their 8-0 victory over Newberg on Tuesday. NEWBERG — The Tualatin High School baseball team picked off right where it left off.

The Timberwolves, who won the Pacific Conference championship a year ago with a record of 16-1, opened defense of its conference crown in impressive fashion.

Tualatin, getting strong pitching, clutch hitting and a solid defensive effort, ran to an 8-0 win over Newberg in a conference opener played Tuesday at Newberg High School.

“That’s a good start,” said Tualatin junior pitcher Jacob Bennett, who threw six shutout innings in Tuesday’s contest. “We wanted to set the tone for league, and I think we did a good job of that.”

“It’s good to get the first league win out of the way,” said Tualatin senior catcher Jake Gellos, who belted a second-inning home run. “We like to treat every game like a big game, but we wanted to come out and play well today.”

Newberg dropped to 2-7 on the season with the loss. Tualatin upped its season record to 7-1-1 with the conference-opening victory.

by: DAN BROOD - HERE IT COMES -- Tualatin junior pitcher Jacob Bennett fires a pitch to the plate during the Wolves' 8-0 win at Newberg on Tuesday.“Newberg is a scrappy team,” Tualatin coach Adam Strachan said. “But Jacob came out and set the tone early. He was in control, and he threw strikes.”

For the game, Bennett gave up no runs on two hits while striking out seven and walking one in his six innings of work.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I think my arm is getting in good shape.”

“He threw well,” Gellos said. “He hit his spots.”

Meanwhile, Gellos helped kick the Timberwolf offense into gear.

With one out in the top of the second inning, Gellos smacked a shot over the fence in left-center field for his first home run of the season, giving Tualatin a 1-0 lead at that point.

“I was sitting on a fastball,” he said. “That definitely felt good.”

“That got us going,” Bennett said. “He set the tone.”

Junior Trevor Riese followed Gellos’ home run with a single to center.

Sophomore Nathan Senger then singled to left field. Speedy sophomore Chase Anderson then came up with a bunt single to load the bases with one out.

Senger then scored when Newberg committed a throwing error on a fielder’s choice grounder by junior Tanner Marsh, with Riese being thrown out at home, to up the lead to 2-0.

Senior Joey Fishback would single in Anderson and Bennett drew a bases-loaded walk, bringing in Marsh, to give the Wolves a 4-0 lead at the end of the DAN BROOD - MAKING THE PLAY -- Tualatin sophomore second baseman Nathan Senger (left) makes a throw to first in the Wolves' win at Newberg.

Tualatin added another run in the top of the third inning. Gellos drew a leadoff walk and ended up scoring on Anderson’s two-out double down the left-field line to make the score 5-0.

The Wolves got another run in the sixth inning. Senger hit a two-out double to left field, and he advanced to third base on a Newberg throwing error on the play.

Senger then came home on a bunt single by Anderson to up the margin to 6-0.

Tualatin then capped the scoring with a two-run sixth inning. Senior Cooper Brunner drew a one-out walk and then he stole second base on a pickoff attempt and then moved to third on a single by Bennett. Brunner then scored on senior Brandon Shroyer’s single to center field. Pinch runner Bryce Haskin scored later in the inning on a two-out single by Riese to cap off the scoring in the Wolves’ 8-0 victory.

“Everyone in the lineup, one-through-nine, can hit the ball,” Gellos said.

“I think the bottom of the order produced more than the top,” Strachan said. “We have a bunch of different guys who can get the job done.”

Tualatin, as a team, had 14 hits in the win.

Anderson, batting in the No. 9 spot in the lineup, went 3 for 3 at the plate with a double, a run scored, two RBIs and a stolen base.

“He’s a game-changer,” Strachan said. “He has some of the fastest speed we’ve ever had here.”

by: DAN BROOD - STRETCHING -- Tualatin senior first baseman Taylor Boos (right) reaches out to make a catch during the team's victory at Newberg on Tuesday.Senger, Riese and Bennett each had a pair of hits. Brunner, Gellos, Fishback, Shroyer and Marsh added one hit apiece.

Senior Cody Davidson pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the Wolves to wrap up the shutout.

Prior to the win over Newberg, the Wolves posted a 7-1 victory over Jesuit, and Crusader ace pitcher Christian Martinek, in a non-league game played last Thursday at Jesuit High School.

“After that game, we feel like we can hit anyone,” Bennett said.

Junior Karter Cook pitched the Wolves to that victory. In a seven-inning, complete-game performance, Cook gave up just one unearned run while striking out nine.

“He was phenomenal,” Strachan said.

For the season, Cook has yet to give up an earned run in 18 innings pitched, while striking out 29 batters.

Tualatin and Newberg were scheduled to play the second game of their two-game series on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Wolves will be back in action Friday when they host Hillsboro in the first game of a two-game series, starting at 4:30 p.m. at Tualatin High School.

The second game of the series will be played Monday, starting at 4:30 p.m., at Hare Field in Hillsboro.

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