Sherwood finishes off a big week with a win over Liberty

by: DAN BROOD - GOOD TIMES -- Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier (left), junior pitcher Zak Taylor (center) and junior catcher Adley Rutschman share a laugh in between innings during the Bowmen's win over Liberty on Friday. SHERWOOD — The Sherwood High School baseball team is on a roll.

The Bowmen are rolling strong. They’re rolling fast.

And they seem to be rolling over anything in their path.

Liberty found that out the hard way.

Sherwood completed a three-game sweep of the Falcons by powering their way to a 7-3 victory in a Northwest Oregon Conference game played Friday at Sherwood High School.

“We’ve put it all together at the right time,” Sherwood junior Adley Rutschman said after Friday’s game. “We’ve been focusing on the small stuff.”

“We’re playing really well now,” said Sherwood junior Zak Taylor, who picked up the pitching win in addition to belting a home run in Friday’s game. “We’ve been having good practices and everyone is working hard. We’re getting after it and everyone is doing their part.”

The win was Sherwood’s 10th straight. It also wrapped up a perfect 4-for-4 week for the Bowmen.

“This was a real good week,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said. “Our pitching depth really showed this week. We have real good depth on the mound. We’re also starting to have good situational hitting. We’re getting there.”

The victory also gave the Bowmen an 11-1 record in Northwest Oregon Conference play to that point (15-6 overall), keeping Sherwood in first place, two games ahead of second-place Sandy.

“The league title was one of our biggest goals at the start of the season,” Rutschman said. “We want to treat every game like a playoff game and keep the intensity up.”

Sherwood sure seemed to be intense right from the start of Friday’s game with Liberty, which fell to 5-7 in conference play and to 7-14 on the season to that point with the loss.

by: DAN BROOD - SMACK -- Sherwood sophomore Adley Rutschman gets his bat of the ball during the Bowmen's win over Liberty.The Bowmen struck for a pair of quick runs in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Keegan Lawrence drew a one-out walk to get things going. Lawrence stole second base and scored on Taylor’s double to left field for the first run of the game. Senior Travis Kotowski then plated Taylor with a single to center, giving the Bowmen their early two-run advantage.

Sherwood pushed the margin to 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning on Taylor’s home run to left field. The home run was Taylor’s second of the season, with him nearly sprinting around the bases.

“I tried to act like I’ve been there before,” he said with a smile.

The Bowmen then added onto their lead in the fourth inning.

An infield single by senior Spencer Clay and a walk to senior Nathan Christler put runners on first and second with one out. Clay then scored when Liberty committed a throwing error on a bunt single by junior Dayton Vaughn, upping the lead to 4-0.

Rutschman then singled in Christler. Later in the frame, Rutschman scored when Kotowski drew a bases-loaded walk, making the score 6-0.

Liberty, getting a two-run home run by senior Mike McBride and an RBI double by senior Cameron Colbert, scored three times in the top of the fifth inning to trim the margin to 6-3. But the Falcons couldn’t get any closer.

Sherwood got a run in the bottom of the fifth, when Rutschman singled in Christler again, to give the home team a 7-3 lead.

From there, Bowmen senior Tyler Booth slammed the door shut.

Booth, pitching in relief, shut down Liberty over the final two innings, giving up one hit while striking out two, to wrap up the 7-3 victory.

“Tyler did awesome,” Taylor said. “That’s what he does.”

Taylor, pitching the first five innings, gave up three runs on four hits while striking out five and walking none.

“Zak pitched well, and then Tyler came in and did a great job,” Strohmaier said. “That was huge for us.”

Sherwood, as a team, pounded out eight base hits in the win. Taylor led the attack, going 2 for 3 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. Rutschman went 2 for 4 with a run scored and two RBIs. Vaughn also had a pair of hits.

by: DAN BROOD - TURNING THE CORNER -- Sherwood senior Keegan Lawrence rounds third base and heads for home during the Bowmen's win over Liberty on Friday.“Hitting is a contagious thing with us,” Rutschman said. “Our focus is hitting line drives. When you hit line drives, they’ll find spots.”

Sherwood continued its roll in a big way on Tuesday, as notched a 6-0 win over rival Wilsonville in a game played at Sherwood High School.

Bowmen senior Riley Moore turned in a one-hit performance on the mound in the victory.

In seven shutout innings of work, Moore allowed just the one hit, an infield single, while striking out 10 and walking one.

Vaughn helped lead the offense in the win, with two hits, including a double, and an RBI.

The teams were slated to play the second game of their three-game series Wednesday at Wilsonville. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

Game 3 of the series will be played Friday at Sherwood.

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