Tigard comes away with a 5-4 victory in the back-and-forth OIBA contest

by: DAN BROOD - HOME RUN HITTER -- Sherwood's Zak Taylor (third from right) is congratulated by his teammates after hitting a home run in Friday's game at Tigard. TIGARD — There were some big-time hits.

A lot of them.

There was also some solid pitching and strong defensive play.

To make things even better, the lead went back and forth.

And, when it finally ended, the Tigard Longhorns were celebrating an impressive, hard-fought victory.

The Longhorns, after twice rallying to take a lead and then holding off a major scoring threat in the top of the seventh inning, came away with a 5-4 win over Sherwood in an Oregon Independent Baseball Association game played Friday at Tigard High School.

“They hit the ball well, and, oh yeah, we did, too,” said Brady McGetrick, a Tigard High School junior-to-be, who had a pair of hits, including a triple, in the win. “We were pretty focused. We’re concentrating better.”

“For me, personally, I look at any win as a good win,” said Jessie Bye, who turned in a complete game pitching performance for the Longhorns in the victory.

“We finally turned it on with our bats,” said Sherwood High junior-to-be Zak Taylor, who had four hits in the game, including a home run. “We were able to jump on some fastballs.”

With the victory, Tigard upped its winning streak to four games.

“This is just a great group of kids. They’re very coachable,” Tigard assistant coach Stace Shillitto said. “And we’ve been hitting the ball well.”

Despite the setback, Sherwood boasted a 13-5 summer season record after that game, including a league-leading 5-1 mark in division play.

“I think this will be a good group,” Taylor said. “We’ve got a lot of potential, and we’re swinging the bats better.”

Taylor and Bye locked up in a pitchers’ duel in the early innings of Friday’s game, but the Longhorns were able to break through and scored the game’s first runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Jarod Gogal led off the frame with a double to right field. Bye then singled to right inning, driving in Gogal for the game’s initial run.

Bye then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Bradley Imai and then he advanced to third base on a groundout by Alex Kelly. Shane Rasor followed with a single to center field, plating Bye to give Tigard a 2-0 lead.

Sherwood came roaring back in the top of the fourth inning.

Taylor led off the frame with a double to the fence in center field. Jake Reimer then tripled to right field, driving in Taylor to cut the Longhorn lead to 2-1.

by: DAN BROOD - THE DELIVERY -- Tigard's Jessie Bye fires a pitch to the plate in Friday's game. Bye turned in a complete-game performance for the Longhorns in the victory. Two outs later, Scott Skurdahl hit a single to left field, bringing home Reimer to tie the contest at 2-2. Skurdahl scored later in the inning on a Tigard throwing error, giving Sherwood a 3-2 lead.

Tigard answered back in its half of the inning.

McGetrick got things going for the Longhorns in the frame with a leadoff triple to left-center field. After Jake Biglow was hit by a pitch, McGetrick scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Ray Barlow to knot up the game at 3-3. Barlow then scored on a triple by Gogal, giving Tigard a 4-3 advantage after four innings of play.

Sherwood tied the game in the top of the fifth inning when Taylor ripped a line-drive solo home run to center field. The homer, his first of the summer season, made the score 4-4.

But it didn’t take Tigard long to regain the lead, as it answered back with a run in the bottom of the fifth.

Bruin Campbell had a two-out infield single in the frame. He stole second base and then scored on a McGetrick single to left field to give the Longhorns a 5-4 lead.

Sherwood threatened in the top of the sixth inning, getting singles from Tanner Shadbolt and Brandon Geiger, but Bye got an inning-ending strikeout to get out of the jam.

Sherwood, still trailing 5-4, threatened in a big way in the top of the seventh inning. Taylor put down a one-out bunt single and Reimer and Riley Moore followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out.

But Bye coaxed a popout and a groundout to end the inning unscathed and to wrap up the 5-4 Tigard victory.

“We hung in there,” Bye said. “It was scary.”

“That was a great game,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said. “Both teams’ pitching was good, and I was pleased because we’ve been talking about making adjustments, and we did that.”

“Both teams were solid,” Shillitto said. “We were pleased with the way our kids answered back after they scored. We competed.”

Bye, in getting a complete-game victory on the mound for the Longhorns, gave up three earned runs while striking out two and walking two.

“I went with my change-up at the end,” Bye said. “I brought it in during the sixth inning.”

“He’s tough,” Shillitto said of Bye, also mentioning a nine-inning, 94-pitch complete-game outing he had against the Eugene Challengers earlier in the season.

Tigard had eight hits in the victory. McGetrick went 2 for 3 at the plate with a triple, a run scored and a run batted in.

“It was good,” he said. “It was nice to get in a couple good hits. We’re definitely getting better — we keep on getting better.’

Gogal went 2 for 3 at the plate with a double, a triple, a run scored and an RBI. Bye, Rasor, Campbell and Barlow added one hit apiece for the Longhorns.

Taylor led Sherwood’s 12-hit offensive attack, going 4 for 4 at the plate with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored and an RBI.

“It was just a good day,” he said. “I stayed with my approach.”

Reimer went 3 for 4 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI. Shadbolt had two hits, including a double, while Skurdahl, Brandon Geiger and Moore had one hit apiece.

Sherwood bounced back from the loss to sweep Lincoln in a doubleheader, by scores of 3-1 and 2-1.

Tigard, prior to the win over Sherwood, posted a 6-0 victory over Central Catholic on July 2 in the first game of high-school players played at Hillsboro Ballpark, home of the Hillsboro Hops minor league club.

Tyler Walker and Barlow combined to pitch Tigard to that shutout victory.

The Longhorns saw their winning streak end on Saturday with a 4-2 loss to the Perth Heat, from Perth, Australia.

Tigard and Sherwood will both next be in action at the McMinnville tournament, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday.

On Monday, Sherwood will be home to face Suburban Door from Tualatin at 5 p.m. and Tigard will play at West Linn at 7 p.m. That will be each team’s last game before OIBA postseason play begins.

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