Tigard team can't quite rally back again
TIGARD — The Tigard Little League ages 9-11 all-star baseball team came up with a tremendous rally just to get to the District 4 tournament championship game.
Then, in the district title tilt, Tigard rallied again. But that rally came up just short.
Tigard, after trailing 9-2 after four innings of play, cut the margin to 9-6, before falling 10-6 to Murrayhill in the District 4 tournament championship contest, played July 3 at Cook Park.
"We gave ourselves a chance," Tigard manager David Jones said after the game. "They didn't quit. They fought to the end."
"We really came back and played as a team," said Alex Pearson, who started on the mound for the Tigard team. "We didn't quit."
"Our main priority was that we didn't want to go out not battling," Tigard outfielder/catcher Owen Wright said.
With the win, Murrayhill, which went 4-0 at the district tournament, advanced to play at the Oregon State Tournament, which started Saturday at Gold Hill. Murrayhill got off to a 2-0 start at the state tourney.
Tigard, which rallied from a 6-3, fifth-inning deficit to get a 7-6 win over Lake Oswego in a tourney semifinal game, ended up going 3-1 at the district tournament.
"I really enjoyed it," Wright said. "It was a lot of fun, and I think we had a lot of improvement."
Murrayhill, in last week's district title game, scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a quick 6-0 lead.
But Tigard started battling back right away. Michael Harms, leading off the top of the third inning, drew a walk. One out later, Carter Jordan, who had the game-winning hit the night before, tripled down the right-field line, driving in Harms for Tigard's first run of the game. Jordan then scored on a sacrifice fly by Dominic Taylor, cutting the lead to 6-2.
Murrayhill answered back, scoring a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to push its lead to 9-2.
But the never-say-die Tigard squad came roaring back again.
Harms, leading off the top of the fifth for Tigard, was hit by a pitch. Andrew Hergert followed with a single to right field, with pinch runner Conner Bok moving to third base on the play. Jordan was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs.
Taylor then singled to center field, driving in Bok to make the score 9-3. Ollie Jones then singled to center on a 0-2 pitch, plating Hergert. Pearson then drew a bases-loaded walk, forcing in Jordan, and Wright singled in Taylor, cutting the Murrayhill lead to 9-6 going into the bottom of the fifth.
Murrayhill, getting an RBI single by Jack Turnbull, got a run in the fifth, making the score 10-6 going into the final frame.
Tigard hit the ball hard in the top of the sixth inning, but all three times right at Murrayhill players, making the final score 10-6.
"Jut one play, one hit, could have made the difference," David Jones said. "But just to get here to this game showed a lot of guts. I think the kids learned a lot about each other and themselves."
"They made the plays," Pearson said. "For us, it's important to remember that this isn't the most important thing. We'll have bigger and better things ahead for us."
"Like coach said, the (Oregon State University) Beavers were a good role model," Wright said. "We showed a lot of mental toughness, and, overall, I think all of our ability went up 50 percent in this tournament."
Tigard, as a team, had six hits in the contest. Ollie Jones went 2 for 3 at the plate with an RBI. Jordan had a triple, scored twice and drove in a run. Taylor had a hit, a run scored and two RBIs. Wright and Hergert had the other Tigard hits.
For Murrayhill, Jacob Grass went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
Other players on the Tigard team include Blake Pearson, Caleb Jolley and Owen Nichols.