WILSONVILLE — In its opening game at the Oregon Independent Baseball Association state tournament, Sherwood boasted some strong pitching and defense.
But, unfortunately for the Bowmen, they didn't get the hits when they needed them.
And that very well may have been the deciding factor in the contest.
Sherwood, after jumping out to a 1-0 lead, fell 3-1 to West Linn in a first-round game of the 16-team, single-elimination event, held July 19 at Wilsonville High School.
"It was OK," Jacob Matzat, a Sherwood High School senior-to-be, said after the game. "We did some good things, but our bats didn't come through when we needed them."
"It was good," said Sherwood senior-to-be Nic Garrison, who drove in the Bowmen's only run of the contest. "We just missed some opportunities. We didn't execute as well as we needed to. We have to capitalize when we have the chance."
With the loss, Sherwood finished its summer season with a record of 14-7.
"This is a great group of guys," Matzat said.
"We got a lot of playing time and experience for the younger guys," Sherwood coach Nate Hickok said. "We made some big strides on the mound, and we showed good potential with our bats."
Sherwood, in last week's tournament game, threatened to score in the top of the second inning. Matzat, leading off the frame, drew a walk. Riley Aggson followed with a single to left field, with Matzat moving to second base on the hit.
Matzat and Aggson the moved up a base on a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third with no outs. But West Linn pitcher Caleb Franzen struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
But the Bowmen wouldn't be denied in the top of the third inning.
Anthony Garrett got things started by drawing a two-out walk. Garrison followed with a double to the fence in center field. Garrett came all the way around to score on the hit, giving Sherwood a 1-0 lead.
"I saw the pitch out of his hand," Garrison said of the hit. "I just took it from where it tailed off."
The Bowmen had a chance to add on more runs during the inning, as Matzat followed with a single, and Aggson drew a walk, loading the bases with two outs. But Franzen got another strikeout to strand the three Sherwood runners on base.
The Bowmen, behind Matzat's pitching, still carried their 1-0 lead to the bottom of the fourth inning, where West Linn came up with its first scoring threat of the contest.
The Lions got a leadoff double by Garrett Marioni, and Micah Gibson followed with a single to left, with Marion moving to third base on the hit.
Matzat then got a strikeout for the first out of the inning. West Linn then tried a squeeze play, but Matzat quickly fielded Alan Scott's bunt, and made a quick throw to catcher Ben Baxter, who tagged out Marioni for the second out of the frame. Matzat then got another strikeout to end the inning, keeping the Bowmen's 1-0 lead intact.
But West Linn would be able to rally in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out in the frame, the Lions got a single by Matt Kurtin, and Drew Vannaman drew a walk, putting runners on first and second. James Marshall then doubled to center field, driving in both Kurtin and Vannaman, giving West Linn a 2-1 lead.
The next batter, Marion, singled to right field, but Bowmen right fielder Sage Dunaway threw Marshall out at the plate, with Baxter again making the tag, for the second out of the frame.
But Gibson then singled in Marion, upping the Lions' lead to 3-1 at the end of the inning.
Sherwood tried to fight back. Baxter, leading off the top of the sixth inning, reached first base on an error. But West Linn relief pitcher Joey Campbell, put down the next three batters in order to keep the score at 3-1.
Campbell then put down all three Sherwood batters he faced in the top of the seventh inning to wrap up the Lions' 3-1 victory.
"We'll learn from this," Matzat said.
"It was a fun summer," Garrison said. "We learned to stay together as a team, and we now all know each other."
Sherwood, as a team, had three hits in the contest — Garrison's double, and singles by Aggson and Matzat, who also walked twice.
Matzat, pitching the first five innings of the game for the Bowmen, gave up three runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking one. Aggson, pitching the sixth inning, gave up no runs on no hits, with a strikeout.
For West Linn, Gibson went 2 for 2 at the plate, and Marioni went 2 for 3. Campbell, throwing the final four innings, shut out the Bowmen on no hits, while striking out four and walking two.