Tigard rallies for tournament win
WILSONVILLE — It wasn't the best situation to be in.
After all, the Tigard Longhorns just watched Grant rally to take a 4-3 lead in a first-round game at the Oregon Independent Baseball Association season-ending state tournament.
And, with the 16-team tourney being held in a single-elimination format, that meant that the Longhorns' season could be about over.
But they weren't worried.
And, as it turned out, they didn't need to be.
Tigard, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and then shutting out Grant in the top of the seventh, got a 6-4 victory in the game played July 19 at Wilsonville High School.
"We knew that we're a comeback team," said Tyler Penn, a Tigard High School junior-to-be, who scored a pair of runs in the victory. "We played really hard. We swung the bats well and did a good job on defense."
"That went pretty good," said Manny Andrade, a Tigard High School senior-to-be, who turned in a complete-game pitching performance. "We had confidence that we could come back. We just did what we needed to do."
With the win, Tigard moved to 25-13 on the season, while also advancing to play in the quarterfinal round of the tournament (see related story).
The Longhorns, in the last week's tournament opener, took the early lead, getting a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Lance Kreisberg got things started with a leadoff double to left. Micah O'Donnell was then hit by a pitch. One out later, Ethan Clark drew a walk, loading the bases. Joey Cavalli then drew a walk, bringing in Kreisberg to give Tigard a 1-0 lead.
Penn then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, driving in O'Donnell to make the score 2-0.
Grant came back to tied the game in the top of the fourth inning. Nick Markenteolis tripled in Caden Brock. Eli Roberts then plated Markenteolis with a sacrifice fly to right field, making the score 2-2.
Tigard regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Penn tripled to right field to lead off the frame. He then scored when Grant committed an error on a grounder by Andrade, giving Tigard a 3-2 advantage.
The Longhorns had a chance to add onto the lead during the inning, as C.J. Rivers singled to left-center field, and Kreisberg drew a walk, loading the bases with one out, but Grant got a pair of strikeouts to end the inning and avoid any more damage.
The Generals then answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. Roberts had the big hit of the frame, with a single that drove in both Jack Fletcher and Cain Brock, giving Grant a 4-3 lead.
But the resilient Longhorns came back in their half of the sixth inning.
Clark, leading off the frame, singled to right center field. Cavalli, after missing on two bunt attempts, and facing a 0-2 count, then singled to left field, with Clark moving to second base on the hit.
Penn then put down a bunt single, with Clark scoring on a Grant throwing error on the play, tying the game at 4-4.
One out later, and after Rivers was intentionally walked to load the bases, Bobby Carter, pinch running for Cavalli, scored on a sacrifice fly by Fletcher Ahl, giving Tigard a 5-4 lead. Penn would then score on an infield single by Kreisberg, upping the margin to 6-4 at the end of the inning.
Grant got a leadoff single by Will Bachman in the top of the seventh inning. But Tigard quickly turned a double play, started by Clark at shortstop, and then Andrade got Michael Rask to ground out to Rivers at third to end the game, wrapping up Tigard's 6-4 victory.
"Most of these guys, I've played with my whole baseball career," Andrade said. "We want to get as far as we can go."
"This was a lot of fun," Penn said. "It was one of the most fun games we've had."
Andrade, in getting the pitching win, gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits, while striking out three and walking none.
Penn helped lead the offensive attack, going 2 for 3 at the plate, with a triple, two runs scored and an RBI. Clark went 2 for 2 with a run scored. Kreisberg went 2 for 3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.
Rivers and Cavalli each had a hit, with Cavalli driving in a run. Andrade and Ahl each had an RBI.
For Grant, Roberts drove in three runs.