A measure of revenge
TUALATIN – Karter Cook had Adrian Uscanga’s number for most of Wednesday.
Uscanga, the junior third baseman on the McMinnville baseball team, had gone 0-for-3 with two strikeouts against Tualatin’s standout pitcher. He stepped into the batter’s box in the top of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs – the scenario Little Leaguers dream about.
“I was shaking (at the plate),” Uscanga said. “He just left up a fastball down the middle. I teed off.”
Uscanga’s three-run double was the difference in a 5-3 victory over the Timberwolves at Tualatin High School.
The win did little for McMinnville’s standing in the Class 6A Pacific Conference. The Grizzlies finished the regular season with a 19-6 overall record (12-5 Pacific); Tualatin won the league with a 13-4 record (19-5 overall).
Mac’s confidence throughout its lineup received a huge boost.
“They’re a competitive group,” McMinnville coach Jordan Harlow said. “They wanted it. It didn’t take much as coaches firing them up; they wanted it.”
Grizzlies starting pitcher David Brosius allowed three hits and struck out five – and also committed four errors, two of which helped the Timberwolves score a run in the first inning and two runs in the sixth inning.
“This is the first time I’ve felt healthy the whole season,” Brosius said. “My fastball felt pretty good. My curveball felt horrible. My changeup helped a lot.
“(Defensively) that was ugly. I can’t believe the first time that happened. I was glad it was me that did it.”
The Grizzlies had amassed three hits through five innings before Zach Rhoads tripled to open the sixth inning. Brosius followed with an RBI single to center field; he came home later on Cameron Fox’s RBI double.
Tualatin loaded the bases the next inning and regained the lead on a Cooper Brunner RBI single and a Brandon Shroyer sacrifice fly.
“Anytime you have playoff-caliber baseball, the margin of error is small,” Harlow said.
After Brosius escaped the jam, Kade Mechals walked, Jacob Bannister singled and Brosius walked to load the bases for Uscanga.
“We wanted redemption after losing (Tuesday),” Brosius said. “We came businesslike. We were loose, but we were ready to go. We wanted it.”
Tualatin 8 McMinnville 2
The Timberwolves piled up five runs in the third inning off Riley McAnally and clinched the Class 6A Pacific Conference championship with a victory over the Grizzlies Tuesday night at the McMinnville baseball field at Patton Middle School.
Sam Swenson went 2-for-4 with an RBI single for the Grizzlies, and Zach Rhoads went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
McMinnville 5 Newberg 1
NEWBERG – Kade Mechals and Travis Allen combined on a six-hit outing and Zach Rhoads went 3-for-3 with a double as the Grizzlies defeated the Tigers in Class 6A Pacific Conference play Monday.
Adrian Uscanga, Sam Swenson, Cameron Fox and Gage Gubrud each hit doubles for the Grizzlies.