TIGARD — The Tigard High School baseball team certainly had some good moments.
The Tigers had some clutch moments. They had some exciting moments. But, most of all — and maybe most importantly — they had some learning moments.
Tigard, after rallying back strong from an early 4-0 deficit, fell 8-7 to Century, as the Jaguars, taking advantage of some Tiger miscues, rallied to score two seventh-inning runs during Saturday's Tigard Spring Break Tournament game played at Tigard High School.
"We can definitely learn a lot from this one, both offensively and defensively," said Tigard senior C.J. Rivers, who sparked a Tiger rally with a third-inning triple. "We just need to stay more mentally in the game. I think some people, after we gave up those four runs, kind of got down. Then, we got the lead back, and we kind of just sat there and didn't take advantage of what we could have done."
"We have to learn that we just have to try harder," said Tigard senior Caden Stinson, who had a pair of hits and scored a pair of runs in the contest. "We gave it a lot at the plate today, but the effort on defense is what hurt us today. It was a little bit of everywhere. It was a team effort on both sides. We played well, but there is also a lot to learn from this one."
With the win, Century improved to 4-0 on the season to that point. Tigard, which committed seven errors in the game, moved to 3-2 at that point with the setback.
"I think a lot of guys are (going to get upset) about this game," Rivers said. "This is definitely a game we should have won against a highly ranked team. We just have to play a lot better than we did."
"It's early," Stinson said. "We've got a lot to learn, and this helps."
Century, the designated home team, took a 2-0 first-inning lead in Saturday's game on a two-run single by senior Jared Gordon. The Jaguars, taking advantage of three Tigard errors, added two more run in the bottom of the second inning to up their lead to 4-0.
The Tigers started to come back in the top of the fourth inning. Rivers got things going with a one-out triple to the fence in center field off of Century senior standout left-handed pitcher Micky Thompson. Rivers then scored on a groundout by senior Lance Kriesberg, making the score 4-1.
"Micky Thompson is a really good pitcher, so we knew he was going to pound the zone, so we had to stay aggressive," Rivers said. "I think that kind of sparked the rally."
The Tigers continued their rally in the top of the fifth inning. Senior Cameron Laroche drew a walk to lead off the frame. One out later, junior pinch-runner Tyler Penn moved to second base on a groundout by senior C.J. Hilgaertner. Sophomore Josh Schleichardt followed with a ground-rule double to center field, driving in Penn to trim the margin to 4-2.
Schleichardt then scored when Century committed a throwing error following a grounder by Tigard junior Mikey McNamee. Then, after Rivers was walked intentionally, Kriesberg singled to left field, driving in McNamee, tying the score at 4-4. Rivers then scored on a wild pitch, giving the Tigers a 5-4 advantage.
Tigard added on another lead in the top of the sixth inning. Stinson, leading off the frame, singled to left field. Laroche then singled and junior Ethan Clark walked on a 3-2 pitch, loading the bases with no outs. Then, following a pair of strikeouts, Stinson scored on a wild pitch, giving Tigard a 6-4 lead.
Now, it was Century's turn to rally. The Jaguars, getting an RBI single by senior Blake Baccay, scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning, tying the game at 6-6.
Tigard answered back, scoring a go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning. Stinson again got things started, this time with a two-out single to center field. He moved to second base on a balk, and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Stinson then scored, giving Tigard a 7-6 lead, on an infield single by Laroche.
"I was just trying to get on base and get something happening," Stinson said. "We were trying to get some momentum. I just wanted to get on and get home. That's all it was."
But Century again rallied back. Senior Justyn Herzog, leading off the bottom of the seventh inning for the Jaguars, doubled to right field. One out later, Gordon reached second base on a Tigard throwing error. Herzog came around to score on the play, tying the game at 7-7. Century senior Alex Garcia followed with a sharp single to center. Tigard misplayed the hit, allowing Gordon to score, giving Century an 8-7 walk-off win.
"We had some clutch hits and clutch moments," Stinson said. "Our pitching was good. Bobby (Carter) came in and did really good. It was a good game, through and through, but it was those little things that got us."
"That shows what our offense can do," Rivers said. "We also showed what our offense can't do, and I think we can definitely take a lot from this game."
Tigard, as a team, had seven hits in the contest. Stinson went 2 for 4 at the plate with a pair of runs scored. Laroche went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Kriesberg singled and drove in two runs. Rivers tripled and scored twice. Schleichardt doubled, scored a run and drove in a run.
Senior Fletcher Ahl, starting on the mound for Tigard, gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits, while striking out three and walking one in four innings of work. Carter, pitching one and two-thirds innings, allowed two unearned runs on no hits. Rivers, pitching the two-thirds innings, gave up two unearned runs on three hits.
Herzog led the Century offense, going 2 for 4 at the plate with a double and two runs scored. Gordon drove in a pair of runs.
Thompson, a Washington State University baseball commit, gave up five runs (two earned) on three hits, while striking out seven and walking four in five innings on the mound. Junior Ian Lawson picked up the pitching win in relief.
Tigard bounced back in a big way on Monday, getting a 5-1 win over Sprague in a Tigard Spring Break Tournament game.
Kriesberg was the winning pitcher for the Tigers in that game. In five innings of work, he gave up one run on two hits, while striking out 11 and walking one.
Junior Ben Barbee led the offensive attack, going 2 for 3 with a home run, a run scored and two RBIs. Stinson went 2 for 3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Schleichardt walked twice and scored twice. Laroche had a hit, a run scored and an RBI. Kriesberg drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The Tigers will be back in action on Tuesday, when they host Churchill in a tourney game starting at 11:15 a.m. On Wednesday, Tigard will conclude tourney play with a 1:30 p.m. contest with Sheldon.
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