Tigard edged in tourney slugfest
Forest Grove gets an 11-9 win in Sunday's District 4 tournament semifinal
PORTLAND - Tigard had a big night hitting the ball.
But, unfortunately for Tigard, Forest Grove had a bit bigger of a night at the plate.
And, because of that, Tigard couldn't quite hold off Forest Grove.
Forest Grove, coming back from deficits of 6-0 and 9-6, scored an 11-9 win over Tigard in a District 4 Majors (ages 11-12) Little League tournament semifinal game played Sunday at Alpenrose Dairy.
'Our kids gave it their all,' Tigard manager Tim Allred said after the game. 'It's a good group and they worked hard. I hated to see them lose and not get a chance to go on. But you have to give Forest Grove credit.'
Forest Grove, with the win, advanced to the District 4 tournament title game and played Murrayhill on Monday. Tigard saw its tourney stay end with the setback.
'The most important thing, win or lose, is that this is a class group of kids,' Allred said. 'I like their intensity and the way they play the game. They're good people.'
Tigard took control early in Sunday's game, scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Harrison Bruce led off the frame with a double to left-center field. He moved to third on a single by Ryan Stevens and then scored the game's first run on Nick Bland's single to left field. Jeff Robinson followed with a single that plated Stevens, making the score 2-0.
One out later, Scott Brennan drew a walk to load the bases. Sam Meyer then belted a grand slam home run over the fence in right-center field to give Tigard a quick 6-0 lead.
Forest Grove battled back right away, scoring six runs of its own in the top of the second inning to tie the game. Kyle Vanderkin had the big hit of the inning with a two-run home run to center field.
Jake Jensen had a two-run double in the frame while Michael McClure and Joshua Cohrs each had RBI singles.
Tigard answered in its half of the second, scoring three times to regain the lead. Bruce led off the frame with a single to left and he ended up scoring on a fielder's choice grounder off the bat of Bland to give Tigard a 7-6 lead.
Robby Chabreck singled in Robinson later in the inning and Jesse Wantland scored on a wild pitch to give Tigard its 9-6 lead.
Tigard held the lead until the top of the fourth, where the persistent Forest Grove squad battled back again.
Coin Ronek drove in Vanderkin with a single to right field and Jacob Bennett scored on Pedro Gonzalez Jr.'s double to get Forest Grove within one, at 9-8.
But Forest Grove didn't stop there. David Makus doubled to the gap in left-center field, bringing in both Ronek and Gonzalez to give Forest Grove its first lead of the game at 10-9.
McClure followed with an RBI single to up the lead to 11-9.
Tigard threatened in each of the final three innings. Stevens singled in fourth, Brennan singled in the fifth and Bruce led off the sixth with a single, but Tigard couldn't push another run across the board.
'We battled, but it just didn't happen,' Allred said. 'We hit the ball hard, but we hit a lot right at them.'
Tigard had 10 hits in the contest. Bruce had three hits and Stevens added two hits. Bland, Robinson, Chabreck, Brennan and Meyer each had one hit.
Jake Hobbs, Chris MacKenzie, Kyler Heaston and Brennan all pitched for Tigard in the semifinal contest.