Brunner, Bennett lead Tualatin to 3-0 victory over the Tigers

by: DAN BROOD - WELCOME HOME -- Tualatin High School senior Brandon Shroyer (center) leaps up as he's greeted by his Timberwolf teammates after scoring in the sixth inning of the team's 3-0 win over rival Tigard. TIGARD — For the longest time, no one was able to break through.

The rival Tigard and Tualatin baseball teams, for inning after inning, were deadlocked in a scoreless tie.

Somebody had to step up.

Hello Cooper Brunner.

Brunner, a Tualatin senior, rose to the occasion, coming up with two big plays — one with his glove and one with the bat — to help propel the Timberwolves to a hard-fought 3-0 win over the Tigers in a Pacific Conference game played May 7 at Tigard High School.

“That was quite an exciting game,” Brunner said with a smile after the victory. “I just wanted to do whatever I could to help the team.”

With the win, coming in the second game of the teams’ three-game series, Tualatin moved to 12-2 in conference play and to 18-3 on the season.

by: DAN BROOD - THE SWING -- Tualatin senior Cooper Brunner takes a big cut during last week's game had Tigard. Brunner had a key defensive play and a triple for the Wolves in their 3-0 victory.Tigard moved to 7-7 in conference games and to 10-13 on the season with the loss. Still, for the Tigers, who fell 15-0 to the Wolves in the May 6 series opener, the 3-0 loss was a good sign.

“Our defense definitely was better today,” said Tigard junior outfielder Brady McGetrick, who had two hits for the Tigers in the contest. “We still struggled on offense, but we played a lot better today. It sucks losing to Tualatin, but this will give us extra motivation.”

In last week’s contest, Tualatin junior Jacob Bennett and Tigard senior Nick Duron locked up in a pitchers’ duel early in the contest.

Both pitchers carried shutouts through the first five innings of the contest. However, Brunner may have given the spark the Wolves needed in the bottom of the fifth inning.

by: DAN BROOD - BRINGING IT -- Tigard senior Nick Duron fires in a pitch during last week's game against Tualatin.With two outs in the frame, Tigard senior Bruin Campbell hit a line drive toward the gap in right center field. But the speedy Brunner, playing in center field, sprinted over and made a sliding catch to rob Campbell of a hit.

“I saw it off the bat and booked it to the ball,” Brunner said of his inning-ending catch.

He wasn’t done yet.

Leading off the top of the sixth inning, Brunner belted a stand-up triple to the fence in deep left-center field.

“I wanted to go for four,” Brunner said of a possible inside-the-park home run. “But I was excited about the triple.”

by: DAN BROOD - BACK TO THE BAG -- Tigard senior Jesse Bye (right) dives back to first base before Tualatin's Karter Cook can make the tag.Tualatin senior Brandon Shroyer followed with a near home run of his own, as he blasted a double that hit high up on the fence in center field. Brunner scored on the hit to give Tualatin a 1-0 lead. Bennett then hit a line-drive single to right field, plating Shroyer to up the margin to 2-0.

The Wolves added another run in the top of the seventh. Junior Tanner Marsh hit a leadoff single to center field. He stole both second and third base and then scored on senior Jake Gellos’ sacrifice fly to center field.

by: DAN BROOD - RACING -- Tualatin junior pitcher Jacob Bennett (right) gets to first base before Tigard's Shane Rasor can in last week's game.Bennett then put the Tigers down in order in the bottom of the seventh to complete shutout and wrap up Tualatin’s 3-0 win.

In his complete-game performance, Bennett allowed three hits while striking out 10 and walking one.

“Their pitcher did great,” McGetrick said.

Brunner led Tualatin’s eight-hit offensive attack, going 3 for 4 at the plate with a triple and a run scored. Bennett went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Marsh added two hits while Shroyer had a double.

For Tigard, Duron, in six and two-thirds innings of work, struck out five and walked none.

McGetrick went 2 for 3 at the plate for Tigard. Senior Jesse Bye had the Tigers’ other hit.

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