Tigers can't get their offense going in a 3-0 setback to the Rams

by: DAN BROOD - MAKING THE PLAY -- Tigard junior catcher Jared Gogal looks to fire the ball to first base after fielding a bunt in Saturday's game with Central Catholic. In addition to getting the out on this play, Gogal also threw out a Ram runner in a stolen-base attempt. TIGARD — The pitching seemed to be fine.

And the Tigard High School baseball team also played its usual strong brand of defense.

But, when it came to putting the bat on the ball, the Tigers had some problems — big problems.

Tigard, struggling to come up with a big hit when it needed it, fell 3-0 to Central Catholic in an opening -day contest of the Tigard Spring Classic tournament, held at Tigard High School.

“Our offense was horrible,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said after the game. “We need to make some adjustments.”

“We didn’t get the hits. That was the main part of it,” Tigard senior Nick Duron said. “We needed to get one key hit, and I think that would have got us going. I think we feel a little rusty right now, but, most definitely, it will come around.”

Central Catholic improved to 2-0 on the season at that point with the win. Tigard dropped to 1-2 on the season to that point with the setback.

But, the loss didn’t damper the Tigers’ hopes for the season.

“I think our potential is really high,” Duron said. “We’ve talked about it. Now, we just need to show it.”

Tigard, in Saturday’s game, struggled against Central Catholic pitcher Sam Muskat the entire contest. Muskat, a sophomore left-hander, gave up two hits while striking out 13 and walking two.

Tigard also got solid pitching in the contest. Junior Henry Amman, who had to jump into the starting pitcher role after the Tigers’ slated starter came down ill, pitched the first four innings, giving up two runs on five hits, striking out one and walking two.

Duron threw the final three frames, giving up one run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

“I did alright,” Duron said. “I need to hit my spots better.”

“It was encouraging,” Campbell said of Duron’s performance.

Central Catholic took a quick 1-0 lead in Saturday’s game. Ronnie Rust, the Rams’ standout sophomore catcher, led off the contest with a triple to deep center. Rust then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jack Krauel to give Central Catholic its early advantage.

Tigard had its main threat of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Tiger junior Brady McGetrick reached base on a Central Catholic error to lead off the frame. Senior Jake Biglow followed with a walk.

by: DAN BROOD - THE DELIVERY -- Tigard junior Henry Amman gets ready to deliver a pitch in Saturday's game against Central Catholic.Both runners then moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by junior Jared Gogal. Tiger junior Tyler Walker then drew a walk to load the bases with one out. But Muskat got out of the jam, striking out the next two Tigard batters to end the inning unscathed.

The Rams, and Rust, then struck again in the top of the third inning. For the second time in the game, Rust belted a leadoff triple to deep center field. He then scored on Krauel’s single to center field to give Central Catholic a 2-0 advantage.

The Rams had a chance to do more damage in the inning, as they loaded the bases with one out. But Tigard got a clutch defensive play from McGetrick in right field to keep Central Catholic from scoring again. McGetrick, on the run, caught a line drive off the bat of Holden Oglesbee and fired the ball to Biglow at first base for an inning ending double play.

Rust also scored the Rams’ third run of the game. He drew a walk to lead off the top of the fifth inning. He stole second base, moved to third on a passed ball and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Krauel.

Tigard had some opportunities throughout the contest. Tiger senior Bruin Campbell hit a two-out double to right-center field in the bottom of the third inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Walker hit a two-out single to right field and he stole second base. But, both times, Tigard came away without a run.

Muskat then put Tigard down in order in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to wrap up the 3-0 victory for the Rams.

“We just need to get out there and get more games in,” Duron said. “We’ll be OK.”

Prior to Saturday’s tourney game, Tigard scored a 7-5 win over Lincoln in a game played last Thursday at Gabriel Park.

Sunday at the Tigard Spring Classic, the Tigers were edged 2-1 by Beaverton.

Monday at the tourney, Tigard split a pair of games. First, the Tigers got an 18-5 victory over Springfield. Later, Tigard was tipped 4-3 by Corvallis.

The Tigers were slated to conclude tourney play Wednesday with a game against Sprague. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Tigers will be back in action Tuesday when they play at Lake Oswego in a non-league game starting at 5 p.m.

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