Tigers tipped by Lakeridge walk-off
LAKE OSWEGO — The Three Rivers League.
When it comes to baseball, every game, every inning, every pitch is a battle.
On Tuesday, the Tigard High School squad came up just barely short in its battle with Lakeridge.
The Pacers, getting a walk-off single by freshman Cameron Clayton in the bottom of the seventh inning, scored a 2-1 win over the Tigers in a league game played at Lakeridge High School.
"This league is really competitive," said Tigard sophomore Fletcher Ahl, who doubled in Tigard's run. "We have to come out every day and give it our best effort."
With the win, Lakeridge improved to 2-4 in TRL games (4-11 overall), putting the Pacers in sixth place in the league standings. Tigard moved to 3-3 in TRL play (10-5 overall), putting the Tigers in fifth place in the league standings.
"Playing close games like this will help us in the playoffs," Ahl said. "We're battle-tested."
In Tuesday's game at Lakeridge, Tigard junior C.J. Rivers and Lakeridge sophomore Spencer Santana locked up in a pitchers' duel in the early innings. The Tigers did threaten in the top of the second, getting singles by junior Lance Kreisberg and Ahl, but Lakeridge, throwing out a pair of baserunners, came out of the frame unscathed.
The Pacers were able to break the scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Back-to-back singles by sophomore Spencer Gore and junior Hayden Moore, and a walk to sophomore Trent Allen, loaded the bases with one out. Gore then scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Connor Utech, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
Tigard was able to tie the game with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Kreisberg got things going with a leadoff double off the bottom of the fence in left-center field. Kreisberg moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior Micah O'Donnell. One out later, Ahl doubled to the fence in right field, driving in Kreisberg to tie the game at 1-1.
"I had to do my job and get the run in," Ahl said. "It was a first-pitch fastball. It was something to drive."
Neither team was able to score again until the bottom of the seventh inning. Senior Hunter Paulson led off the frame for Lakeridge with a double to left field. He then moved to third base on a wild pitch. Rivers then got sophomore John Taylor to fly out to left field, but Clayton followed with his game-winning single to center.
"C.J. threw a great game, and so did their pitcher," Ahl said.
Rivers, in six-and-a third innings of work on the mound, gave up two runs on seven hits, while striking out seven and walking two.
Kreisberg went 3 for 3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. Ahl went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Senior Nick Heinke had a hit and a stolen base.
For Lakeridge, Santana, in seven innings of work, gave up one run on six hits, while striking out two and walking two.
In the first game of the teams' series, played Friday at Tigard High School, the Tigers got a 3-0 win. Junior left-hander Sam Gerkman turned in a complete-game pitching performance for Tigard in the victory. He gave up five hits while striking out seven and walking three.
Kreisberg, junior Caden Stinson and O'Donnell all scored for the Tigers. Ahl had a pair of hits.
Tigard was slated to open a two-game series with West Linn on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press. The teams will play again Friday, starting at 5 p.m., at West Linn High School.