East County faces Tigard in second round

Centennial opens A tournament Friday

East County tries to move closer to the AAA legion state tournament by taking on Tigard in a second-round series this week.

The Knights will host the opener at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 26, along with Game Three if necessary Friday night. Tigard hosts the middle game of the series at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Both teams swept their first-round playoffs, but East County will rely on some new arms for Game One. Top hurlers Austan Mason and Greg Bobnick neared 100 pitches apiece, as the Knights went 12 innings to close out their series with Aloha on Sunday.

'We'll need some of our other pitchers to step up,' Knights' manager Garet Luebbert said. 'The depth of this team will determine how well we do in this series. But anytime you're playing nine innings, you should be able to score four or five runs, and that's enough to give you a chance.'

The winner of this week's series will advance to the metro-area Final Four.

'We took a few days off after Sunday's game, and I think the guys are refreshed and ready to play,' Luebbert said.

A American Legion

Centennial takes a four-game win streak and the district's top seed into the A American Legion tournament, starting Friday, July 28, in Grants Pass.

After losing its first game of the district playoffs, the Eagles won four in a row, highlighted by a 15-run blowout in the title game. Centennial will face the No. 3 seed out of area-4 to open the double-elimination tournament Friday.

'Our team is coming together well, and if we keep playing like this, we can do some damage down there,' Eagles coach Jake Austin said.

Centennial is led by the pitching duo of Kenneth Clarke and Drew Fisher, while shortstop Troy Harris anchors a reliable infield.

'We play good team defense, and we'll rely on our pitchers to keep us in ball games,' Austin said. 'Plus, on any given day our lineup can really explode on offense.'

The Eagles won by the 10-run mercy rule twice at district.

Barlow is also in the eight-team state tournament field.