Tigard keeps battling in pool play tilt
PORTLAND — The Tigard Little League Majors (ages 11-12) all-star baseball team kept battling.
They squad battled some more.
And, it was that attitude that just may have well propelled the Tigard team into the semifinals of the District 4 tournament.
Tigard, on Saturday, came up with two big rallies — after trailing 5-0 and 13-7 — before falling 13-10 to Raleigh Hills in a tournament pool play game held at Alpenrose Stadium.
"We just kept battling," Tigard's Matthew Beckett said after the game.
"We believe in ourselves and our teammates," Tigard catcher Theo Jones added.
Tigard, despite the close loss to Raleigh Hills, earned a spot in the semifinals of the tournament by getting a 13-2 win over Southwest Portland in a tourney pool play game last Thursday and, with a semifinal berth on the line, getting a 12-9 pool play victory over Lake Oswego on Sunday.
"We wanted to come out here and compete," Jones said.
"We love the experience playing out here at Alpenrose," Beckett said.
Tigard, in Saturday's game with Raleigh Hills, found itself facing an early 5-0 deficit, as Raleigh Hills scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning.
But Tigard started chipping away at that lead.
The team got three of those runs back in the top of the third inning.
Aidan Wilson led off the frame with a single to center field. Then, after Conner Bergh drew a walk, pinch-runner Konner Grant scored on a single by Austin Goetz, making the score 5-1. Bergh would then score on an infield single by Riley Fauth. Goetz also scored on a throwing error on the play, trimming the lead to 5-3.
Raleigh Hills got a run in the bottom of the frame to up the margin to 6-3.
But Tigard kept rolling, scoring two runs in the top of the third inning. Beckett had the big hit of the frame, with a ground-rule double, that plated Brady Jordan, who singled earlier in the frame. Wilson also scored on a groundout by Mason Gray in the inning, cutting the Raleigh Hills lead to 6-5.
Tigard, with momentum on its side, rallied to take the lead in the top of the fourth inning. With one out in the frame, Tigard got consecutive singles from Owen Magnusen, Boone Coffman and Jones, with Magnusen scoring on Jones' hit, tying the game at 6-6. Tigard then took a 7-6 lead when Coffman scored on a throwing error.
But Raleigh Hills, getting an RBI double by Henry Geweke, answered back by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to reclaim the lead at 13-7.
Tigard was still facing the 13-7 deficit going into the sixth inning.
With one out in the final frame, Tigard got back-to-back walks from Magnusen and Coffman. Jones was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jordan followed that up with a double to center field, driving in Magnusen and Bergh, who was pinch running, to make the score 13-9. Jones then came home on a groundout by Wilson, trimming the lead to 13-10.
But the game ended with a fly-ball out to deep center field, leaving Raleigh Hills with a 13-10 victory.
"The kids battled back hard," Tigard manager Brian Fauth said. "Sometimes the bounces go against you, but I was proud in the sixth inning in how they kept in it."
Jones went 2 for 2 at the plate, with a run scored and an RBI in the contest. Jordan went 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs. Grant and Magnusen each scored a pair of runs.
Tigard, in its tournament-opening win over Southwest Portland last Thursday, got a grand-slam home run from Beckett.
Bergh went 2 for 2 at the plate in that contest, with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs. Coffman and Jones each scored two runs. James, Magnusen, Grant, Wilson, Riley Fauth and Beckett scored one run apiece. Gray and Beckett combined to pitch Tigard to the win.
On Sunday, in the crucial game against Lake Oswego, Tigard jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the third inning on its way to getting the victory.
Coffman had a big day at the plate in the win, going 3 for 3 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and five RBIs. Jones went 4 for 5 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs. Beckett went 3 for 4, with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs.
Magnusen, Jordan, James, Grant, Bergh and Wilson added one hit apiece. Jordan also scored a pair of runs.
Beckett, Magnusen and Grant combined to pitch Tigard to the victory.