By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Error ends OMP's season at OIBA state tournament

McMinnville was scheduled to play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday vs. Clackamas at Oregon City in the third round of the double-elimination tournament, but results weren’t available at press time.

Mainline Paving was one of four teams left in the tournament Thursday with a perfect record, the other three being Clackamas, Sherwood and Lake Oswego. Wednesday, OMP defeated Beaverton 5-4, guaranteeing it will play at least one game on Friday.

“You get two more games,” McMinnville coach Darren Bland said. “You at least get through your first four starters.”

In its opening game of the tournament, OMP defeated Barlow 4-3 at Oregon City. Oregon Mainline Paving scored the game-winning run on a throwing error in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Barlow’s catcher overthrew first base, allowing Jacob Bannister to score.

Pitcher Gage Gubrud threw six strong innings for OMP but received a no decision. Gubrud allowed three runs on seven hits. He walked four batters but struck out 11.

Barlow scored one run in the top of the first inning, but OMP tied in the bottom of the second inning. Sam Swenson reached on after getting hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a ground out by Gubrud, then Garrett Adams doubled to score Swenson.

The Bruins again took the lead, scoring twice in the top of the third. Mac again responded, loading the bases. Adrian Uscanga hit a sacrifice fly to center field, then Swenson singled to tie the game at three.

Gubrud was at 104 pitches after six innings, Bland said, so he brought in Riley McAnally in relief. McAnally allowed one hit but retired the side without further damage.

In the bottom of the seventh, Bannister singled, then Zach Rhoads bunted him over to second base. David Brosius was intentionally walked, and Bannister stole third base. After Cameron Fox struck out, Brosius stole second, and Uscanga was intentionally walked.

Kade Mechals stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. He drew a 2-1 count, and Barlow’s catcher tried to pickoff Uscanga at first base. The ball skipped past the first baseman, allowing Bannister to score from third.

Mainline Paving followed that walk-off with an encore Wednesday vs. Beaverton. Facing a 4-2 hole in the bottom of the fourth inning, OMP scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game, then got the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly from Gubrud.

With one out, Uscanga roped a double into left field. Mac’s next batter, Mechals, singled to center field, and it appeared as if Uscanga might score. As Uscanga rounded third base, though, he tripped and slid into the grass. He made it back to the bag, but McMinnville’s chance of ending the game there was thwarted.

“I was a bit frustrated,” Uscanga said. “That could have potentially been the winning run.”

Bland said he would have sent Uscanga if he hadn’t tripped, but isn’t so sure he would have been safe.

“I still think it would have been close at home,” he said. “It might have been baseball gods tripping him.”

Travis Allen, pinch-hitting for Swenson, was then intentionally walked to load the bases for Gubrud. Gubrud lifted a pitch into center field that was deep enough for Uscanga to tag up and score easily.

Brosius earned the win for OMP. He allowed four runs on five hits in seven innings pitched. He walked five and struck out six in what he even admitted wasn’t his best performance of the summer. In the end, it was just good enough, though. Brosius walked the lead runner in the top of the seventh inning but then got a ground ball to second base that turned into a double play to end the threat. 

“Bland was going to take me out,” Brosius said with a laugh. “That was big that they got that.”

Uscanga was 2-for-4 on the day with an RBI and a run scored.

Beaverton scored one run in the top of the first inning and added three more in the top of the fourth inning.

The two close wins came down to Mac executing in pressure situations. Bland said he has used every game this summer to drill those situations into his players.

“We’ve done it a lot of times,” Brosius said. “We were definitely ready for it.”

“We don’t hit as well as we need to sometimes, so we play a lot of low-scoring, close games,” he said. “We’re in 5-4 games all the time.”

If OMP wins Thursday, it will play at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Oregon City. If it loses Thursday, it will play at 11:30 a.m. Friday morning at Oregon City in an elimination game. If Mac is thrown into the loser’s bracket, then it would face two-must win games Friday to advance to the semifinals.

 Mac was swept last weekend in a three-game series vs. Clackamas to determine seeding for the state tournament.

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