Nick Duron pitches Tigard to shutout win over Century

by: DAN BROOD - MAKING THE PLAY -- Tigard High School senior pitcher Nick Duron makes a throw to first base after fielding a grounder in last week's game with Century. Duron pitched the Tigers to a 3-0 victory. TIGARD — It was Nick Duron’s first starting pitching assignment of the season.

To say it went well just might be an understatement — a big understatement.

Actually, it went about as well as it could go.

Duran, a senior right-hander for the Tigard High School baseball team, spun a complete-game shutout, helping the Tigers score a 3-0 win over Century in a Pacific Conference game played last Thursday at Tigard High School.

“That felt real good,” Duron said with a smile after the game. “It was my first start of the year, and I was a little nervous, but I was able to hit my spots.”

With the loss, Century moved to 3-5 in conference play and to 9-8 on the season to that point.

With the win, its second straight shutout victory, Tigard improved to 5-3 in conference games (8-8 overall) at that point, putting the Tigers alone in third place in the league standings.

by: DAN BROOD - TRYING TO TURN TWO -- Tigard senior second baseman Bruin Campbell (right) looks to make a throw to first after forcing Century's Nate Rau out at second base.“We were struggling at the beginning of the season,” Tigard junior outfielder Tyler Walker said. “But we’re playing a lot better. It’s good to get it going now.”

“We just need to come out and keep winning,” Duron said.

Duron sure seemed to do his part in last Thursday’s Tiger victory. In seven innings of work, he gave up no runs on six hits while striking out five and walking one.

“Nick was real good today,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said.

So was the Tiger defense.

Tigard turned a pair of double plays in the victory. The Tigers also got key defensive plays from Walker in the first inning, and from senior third baseman Jesse Bye in the seventh inning.

“It’s big,” Duron said of the Tigard defense. “It’s the most important thing for us.”

In the top of the first inning, Century got a one-out double by senior Daniel Moore. With two outs in the frame, Jaguar senior Zach Allen singled to left field. Walker, playing in left field, came up throwing after fielding Allen’s hit, and he gunned out Moore at the plate, with senior catcher Bradley Imai making the tag for the third out of the inning.

“We practiced that yesterday,” Walker said. “Practice makes perfect.”

In the seventh inning, senior Sam Bates, leading off the frame for Century, put down what looked to be a perfect bunt. But Bye, sprinting in from his third-base spot, made a running, bare-handed scoop of the ball and, in the same motion, made a perfect throw to first base to get the out.

by: DAN BROOD - BEATING THE THROW -- Tigard senior Ray Barlow gets to first base before the ball in last week's Tiger win over Century.“That was a great play,” Duron said.

“The double plays were great, and Jesse made a great play in the seventh,” Campbell said. “That’s the kind of defense we were anticipating this season.”

Meanwhile, on offense, the Tigers took advantage of their speed on the bases.

Tigard struck early, getting a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Bruin Campbell led off the frame with a single to center field. Senior Shane Rasor followed with a single to right field, with Campbell moving up to second base on the hit. Campbell and Rasor then successfully converted on a double steal, putting both runners in scoring position.

That aggressiveness paid off, as Walker followed with a single to center field, bringing in both Campbell and Rasor to give Tigard a quick 2-0 lead.

“We’re doing the little things,” Walker said. “We’re getting the ball in play and utilizing our speed.”

Speed also led to Tigard’s third run of the game, which came in the bottom of the third inning.

Bruin Campbell walked to lead off the frame. He quickly stole second base. He then took off to steal third and came all the way around to score on a passed ball on the play, upping the Tigard lead to 3-0.

Tigard, as a team, had six hits in the contest.

Walker went 2 for 3 at the plate with a stolen base and two RBIs. Senior Ray Barlow also went 2 for 3. Bruin Campbell had a hit, three stolen bases and two runs scored. Rasor had the other hit and two stolen bases. The Tigers stole a total of six bases in the win.

“We have a lot of speed on offense,” Duron said.

“Running the bases like we have has helped us,” Tom Campbell said.

by: DAN BROOD - WEB GEM -- Tigard senior third baseman Jesse Bye makes a throw to first after making a running, bare-handed grab of a Century bunt.Tigard completed a three-game sweep of the Jaguars by getting a 5-3 win over Century in a game played Monday at Hillsboro Ballpark.

On Tuesday, Tigard opened a three-game series with Forest Grove, falling 10-5 to the Vikings in a game played at Tigard High School.

Senior Jake Biglow went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs for the Tigers in that contest. Rasor went 2 for 4.

The teams were slated to play again Wednesday at Forest Grove High School. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press. The teams will finish their series Friday with a 4:30 p.m. game at Tigard High School.

On Tuesday, the Tigers will open a three-game series with rival Tualatin with a 4:30 p.m. game at Tualatin High School. The teams will play again Wednesday at Tigard and finish the series May 9 at Tualatin High School.

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