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Tigard baseball team runs, pitches their way to victory

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Tigard steals 11 bases in its TRL 5-0 win over Lakeridge

DAN BROOD - Tigard High School senior Hunter Hughes (left) races to first base as Lakeridge's Tommy Andrew reaches for the ball during last week's game. TIGARD — It's said that speed kills.

Well, if that's true, and you throw in a strong pitching performance as well, then you've really got something.

The Tigard High School baseball team sure did.

The Tigers, stealing 11 bases, and getting a complete-game, shutout performance on the mound from senior Taylor Ott, ran to a 5-0 win over Lakeridge in a Three Rivers League game played April 26 at Tigard High School.

"It was fun. Everyone was going with it," said Tigard junior Nick Heinke, who scored a run and drove in a run in the victory. "We focused on small ball. We focused on execution. We worked a lot on that in practice."

"We got after it," Ott said. "We played some good small ball. We wanted to score any way we could."

DAN BROOD - Tigard senior pitcher Taylor Ott makes a throw to first on a pickoff in a win over Lakeridge. With the victory, Tigard improved to 5-4 in TRL play, and to 11-6 on the season, to that point.

"We're coming off three losses in a row, so this is big for us," Ott said. "We want to keep on winning."

"We needed a win to get us going again," Heinke said.

Lakeridge moved to 2-7 in TRL games, and to 5-12 on the season, to that point with the setback.

"Baseball is a game of inches," Lakeridge senior first baseman Tommy Andrew said. "You make one error, and it can build on you. One little mistake can make it tough. Baseball can be a cruel game."

Ott, in last week's contest, seemed to be strong on the mound from start to finish for the Tigers. For the contest, he gave up four hits, while striking out five and walking three.

"It went pretty well," Ott said. "I felt strong and solid. When I get in the groove, I feel strong and confident. I know that all of my teammates will do great behind me. That's all I need."

DAN BROOD - Tigard senior Brett Thomas gets ready to hit first base and head to second for a double during the Tigers' win over Lakeridge.Still, Lakeridge had the first scoring threat of the game, coming in the top of the first inning. Andrew got things going with a two-out single to center field. Lakeridge senior Cal Seneker followed with a single to right field, with Andrew moving to third base on the hit. But Ott coaxed an inning-ending fly out to center field to get out of the jam.

From there, Ott and Lakeridge senior Josh Robins locked up in a pitchers' duel, until the Tigers were able to break through in the bottom of the third inning.

Tigard senior Hunter Hughes drew a leadoff walk in the frame to get things rolling for the Tigers. Hughes then stole second base and then, with out out in the inning, he stole third. Heinke then drove in Hughes for the game's first run with a sacrifice fly to left field.

"I got something to drive deep," Heinke said. "That was what I was trying to do."

DAN BROOD - Tigard senior Riley Williams (left) puts a tag on Lakeridge's Beau Bryant during a pickoff play.Tigard added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Riley Williams, leading off the frame, drew a walk. And the Tigers were off and running again.

Junior pinch-runner Jaron West stole both second and third base, and then he scored on a single by senior Brett Thomas, upping the Tigard lead to 2-0.

Tigard got another run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tiger senior Parker Kuntz reached second base on a Lakeridge fielding error with two outs in the frame. Then, after Tigard senior Connor Wojahn was hit by a pitch, Williams lined a single to center field, driving in Kuntz to make the score 3-0.

Tigard tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ott singled to lead off the frame. He then stole second base with one out in the inning, and the stole third with two gone. Ott then scored when Lakeridge committed a throwing error in a rundown.

Heinke, who walked later in the inning, would eventually score from third base on another Pacer error to make the score 5-0.

DAN BROOD - Tigard junior Nick Heinke takes a swing during the Tigers' win over Lakeridge.Lakeridge, trying to battle back in the top of the seventh, got walks by junior Connor Utech and junior Kohl Sykes to put runners on first and second with one out in the frame. But Ott got a fly out and a strikeout to wrap up the shutout victory.

"We had lost three in a row, so this was big," Heinke said.

Tigard had four hits in the contest, with Thomas having two of those, including a double, while also stealing three bases.

For Lakeridge, Robins pitched the first four and two-thirds innings of the contest, giving up three runs (two earned), while striking out six and walking four.

"Josh pitched well," Andrew said. "He threw strikes."

Andrew, senior Beau Bryant, Seneker and junior Hunter Paulson each had one hit for the Pacers.

"It's still exciting," Andrew said. "We just need to get a few hits in a row, and we'll win some games."

DAN BROOD - Tigard senior Parker Kuntz (right) comes in to score for the Tigers in the win over Lakeridge.Last Thursday, in the second game of the three-game series, Tigard scored a 6-3 win in a game played at Tigard High School.

For the Tigers, Kuntz went 3 for 4 at the plate with three RBIs. Thomas hit a solo home run and Hughes scored twice and drove in a pair of runs.

Junior Manny Andrade picked up the complete-game pitching win for the Tigers, giving up three runs (two earned) on eight hits, while striking out two and walking none.

For Lakeridge, Andrew went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double, a triple and an RBI. Bryant went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Seneker went 2 for 3 with a double and sophomore Colin Hardy scored a run and drove in two.

In Friday's series finale, Tigard got a 7-6 win in a game played at Lakeridge High School.

Seniors Max Pittmon and Jack Chabreck each drove in a pair of runs for the Tigers in that game. Kuntz scored a pair of runs.

For Lakeridge, Bryant went 3 for 4 at the plate with a double and a run scored. Junior Harrison Brown and senior Brendon Sloan each drove in a pair of runs.

On Tuesday, Tigard ran to a 10-0 win over Newberg in a league game played at George Fox University.

The teams were scheduled to play again Wednesday at Tigard. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press. The teams will finish their three-game set Friday with a 5 p.m. game at Newberg.

On Tuesday, Tigard will open a three-game series with Sherwood when they host the Bowmen at 4:30 p.m.