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Tigers put dent in Grizzlies' title hopes

Class 6A baseball — Behind ace Nick Auld's three-hitter, Newberg takes the second of a three-game set versus McMinnville


After getting beat in just about every aspect of the game — in the field, on the mound, at the plate and on the base paths — by McMinnville in a 13-5 loss May 6, Newberg refused to go quietly into the night in its last league series against its chief rival.

The last-place Tigers went toe to toe with the second-place Grizzlies in the final two games of the series, coming out on top 3-1 May 7 before falling 5-1 Monday.

“We played extremely well,” head coach Steve Mayfield said. “Even the Mac coaches, after seeing us (May 6), all had very nice things to say after the game. It was good to see the kids flush it and turn around and play well.”by: SETH GORDON - Just out of reach - Senior Tyler Muller nearly snags a line drive in right field Monday during Newberg's 5-1 loss to McMinnville. The Tigers close out the regular season Wednesday at Tigard.

Senior ace Nick Auld, who will play at George Fox next spring, remained nearly unhittable in leading Newberg to its win in the series, allowing three hits and surrendering the only run on a bases-loaded balk in the first inning.

In his past three games, Auld has given up a total of seven hits and three runs.

The Tigers didn’t pull ahead until the sixth inning, when Kody Renne laced a two-out bloop single to right field to score Colten Lemos, then added an insurance run on a passed ball in the top of the seventh.

Austin Fletcher was solid in five innings on Monday, but didn’t get enough run support to avoid taking the loss.

“We left six guys in scoring position and one of those was at third base with no outs,” Mayfield said. “We just couldn’t get that hit to break things open and give us a chance to win.”

The Tigers struggled to get McMinnville’s leadoff hitter out, as all four innings in which the Grizzlies scored included safe passage to first for the first batter up. In the second it was on a walk, in the fourth on an error, in the sixth on a single and in the seventh on a double.

“Mac’s a very good team,” Mayfield said. “They’re very senior laden. They do things that we talk about and teach and they do them very well. They take extra bases when they’re given. They’re aggressive at the plate, but at the same time disciplined.”

Newberg began its final series of the season at home Tuesday versus Tigard (results unavailable at press time) and will wrap up with a second contest Wednesday before traveling for a play-in game May 20.

“What’s been fun to watch with these guys is when we play good teams, for the most part, in the series we play to that level,” Mayfield said. “The maturity aspect of that is just doing it on a consistent basis.”




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