Tigard falls to Lakeridge in second-round contest
LAKE OSWEGO — Sometimes, the ball just doesn't fall for you.
Sometimes, you run into a pitcher who really finds his groove.
Unfortunately for the Tigard High School baseball team, both of those things seemed to happen at the same time.
The Tigers saw their season come to a close with a 7-0 loss to Lakeridge in a Class 6A state playoff second-round game played May 22 at Lakeridge High School.
"We kept it up, but the ball just doesn't land for you sometimes," Tigard senior Caden Stinson said after the game. "That's how it went today."
With the win, Lakeridge, the No. 4 team out of the Three Rivers League, and the No. 7 team in the final OSAA power rankings, improved to 20-9 on the season to that point. The Pacers also advanced to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs, where they fell 6-3 to Central Catholic in a game played Friday at Lakeridge High School.
Tigard, the No. 2 team out of the Three Rivers League, and the No. 10 team in the power rankings, finished its season with a final overall record of 18-11.
"It was a great season," Stinson said. "This is a great bunch of guys, a great bunch of friends, and it's going to be family forever. These are the greatest bunch of guys I've ever played with. I love these guys to death."
Lakeridge, in the second-round game, took a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning. The Pacers then broke the game open with five more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Lakeridge added another run in the bottom of the fifth.
That turned out to be more than enough run support for Lakeridge junior pitcher Cooper Justice. In turning in a complete-game performance, Justice gave up one hit, while striking out six and walking one.
Tigard only had two baserunners in the contest. Senior Fletcher Ahl singled with one out in the top of the first inning. Senior C.J. Rivers then drew a walk. But Justice would retire the next 20 Tiger batters he'd face in the contest.
The loss marked the final high school game for Tigard seniors Stinson, Lance Kreisberg, Sam Gerkman, Bobby Carter, C.J. Hilgaertner, Ahl, Cameron Laroche and Rivers.
"It's a bunch of really great guys," Stinson said of the Tigard seniors. "All of us are going on to universities. Some of us will play baseball. It's awesome. This was such a fun season, such a great season. I'm going to remember it for my entire life."