Tualatin baseball playoff run ends in quarterfinals

Glen Maduro III celebrates after driving in the game-winning run in Tualatin’s second-round playoff win. Adam Littman/Tualatin Life
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The Tualatin baseball won two playoff games to reach the state quarterfinals, but the season ended there for the Timberwolves when they were shut out by two-time defending state champ West Linn.

Tualatin finish the season at 18-12 and ranked in the top-10 in the state. 

Prior to the loss, the Timberwolves pulled out two thrilling wins at home to advance in the playoffs to reach the quarterfinals. 

Tualatin – 5, Century – 3

The Timberwolves struck early, taking a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on RBI singles by Glen Maduro III and Nolan McCormack. They tacked on another run in the third when De’Quan Duncan stole third and scored on a throwing error. 

Century fought back, tying the game at three in the top of the fifth. 

The game remained tied until the bottom of the sixth, when Ethan Matsuoka started things off with a walk. He was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and Noah Oistad singled to put runners on the corner with one out. 

Tualatin Head Coach Jacob Austin then pinch-hit Isaac Puentes, who drove in the eventual game-winning run with a sacrifice fly. 

“We have a big roster. A big strength of ours is our depth,” Austin said. “Isaac has been a huge pinch hitter for us. It’s a tough job, but he always comes in ready, aggressive, and takes confident swings. He’s come through for us. He did it this game in the biggest moment.” 

Oistad scored later in the sixth on a hit by Duncan to give Tualatin some added cushion. 

Tualatin – 3, Central Catholic – 2 

Tualatin’s second-round playoff game went a bit different, with the Timberwolves struggling to convert multiple opportunities with runners on base. That is, until the last inning. 

Central Catholic clung to a 2-1 lead for most of the game. Oistad kicked off the bottom of the seventh with a walk. Brayden Buck tried to bunt him into scoring position, but fouled out on a popup near the Tualatin dugout. The Central Catholic defender raced to make the grab, but Oistad tagged up to get to second. 

An intentional walk to Ervin Dorsett Jr. put runners on first and second, and they both advanced on a ball in the dirt. Duncan hit a slow roller to first, and Oistad raced home and slid around the tag to tie the game. Another intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. 

Maduro hit one up the middle on the ground, leading to a force out at second, but hustled down the line to beat out the attempted double play, allowing Tualatin to walk it off and keep their season alive. 

“I was super early on the fastball, so I knew I had to beat it out,” Maduro said. “We’re never going to stop. We’re always going to keep fighting.”

Austin agreed. 

“It’s win or go home, so you’ve got to lay it all out on the field,” he said. “The guys did a good job of that tonight. We had multiple chances and just couldn’t get one in, but they kept at it. They kept grinding and fighting.”

Central Catholic jumped out to a lead in the first, plating one run. The Timberwolves tied it in the second when Oistad drove in Maddox Brown. 

Central Catholic quickly regained the lead in the third, when Tualatin made a pitching change bringing in Joey Mattecheck with runners on the corners and one out. Mattecheck gave up a single, allowing Central Catholic to take a 2-1 lead, and then shut down the Rams the rest of the way. 

“Joey has good stuff,” Austin said. “He got in a groove, he got his confidence going, and started to mix in his off-speed for strikes. Once he does that, he can get anybody out. That was huge for us.”

The win was also some added payback for Tualatin, which lost its last game of the regular season a week prior to the playoffs to Central Catholic, 11-3. 

“It was definitely added motivation,” Maduro said. “After what happened on Senior Night, we knew we had to come out here and play our best game. It wasn’t our best, but it got the job done.”

Tualatin – 0, West Linn – 10, 6 innings

It was always going to be a tough task to go into West Linn and win a playoff game. The Lions have won the last two state titles, were the top-ranked team in the state this season, and came into the quarterfinals riding a 16-game win streak. 

For the most part, the Timberwolves kept it relatively close for about half the game. 

West Linn jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. The Lions were threatening in the second with a runner on third and two outs, and a great play by Duncan in left field kept it a one-run game. On a deep drive to left center, Duncan raced back and made a sliding grab near the warning track to end the inning. 

Tualatin put a few baserunners on in the first couple of innings, but couldn’t do a whole lot against West Linn starter Gabe Howard. The University of Oregon-bound senior is widely regarded as one of the top baseball prospects in the state, and showed why in the quarterfinals. 

He struck out eight in six innings, and held Tualatin hitless until an Ethan Matsuoka single with two outs in the top of the fourth. 

It was the only hit he allowed on the day. West Linn led 4-0 much of the game, and unloaded with six runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the early on the 10-run rule.

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