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Twins get the win in a wild one

Tigard opens the American Legion playoffs with a 24-15 victory at Hillsboro
by: DAN BROOD, GORTON ON THE GO — Ryan Gorton rounds third base and heads for home in the second inning of Saturday’s game. Gorton homered twice in the Twins’ 24-15 win.

HILLSBORO - Nope, it's not quite football season yet.

But, with a look at the Hare Field scoreboard late Saturday night, you could easily be fooled into thinking that the baseball season was done and the gridiron guys had taken over.

The Tigard Twins American Legion AAA baseball team opened its Metro-Area playoffs, best-of-three first-round series by scoring a 24-15 - that's right, 24-15 - win over Hillsboro in a game that took nearly 4½ hours to complete Saturday at Hare Field.

'I've never coached in a game like that before,' Tigard coach Jason Stanley said after the game. 'That was a marathon. It was wild.'

Wild, and, for awhile, nerve-wracking for the Twins.

Tigard, roaring at the start, jumped out to a 13-1 lead after three innings of play. But Hillsboro came storming back, cutting the lead to 16-14 after seven innings of the nine-inning game.

However, the Twins scored three runs in the top of the eighth and five more in the ninth to push their lead to 24-15.

'That's when Gunnar (Cederberg) said `even a touchdown won't hurt us now,'' Tigard's Ryan Gorton said with a laugh.

Gorton was one of a handful of Twins players who had a big night at the plate in Saturday's lengthy postseason play.

He went 5-for-8 with two home runs, a double, five runs scored, six RBI and two stolen bases.

'That was my first multi-home run game ever,' he said.

Tigard's Andrew Woolfe went 6-for-6 with a home run, two doubles, three runs scored and three RBI. He also walked once and was hit by a pitch. Josh Harbolt reached base in all seven of his plate appearances. He went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs and four RBI while also walking twice and getting hit by a pitch.

The list doesn't stop there. Nate Grisham had a pair of hits while scoring four runs and driving in two, Patrick Chabreck had three hits and drove in three runs and Gunnar Cederberg had a pair of hits, including a double, and he scored three times while also driving in a run.

The Twins, as a team, had 27 base hits in the victory.

'When I got here today, I had a feeling something like this might happen,' Gorton said. 'I've never played in a game that got over at 11:20 (p.m.) before.'

The Twins started fast in Saturday's game. They scored four runs in the top of the first inning behind a run-scoring double by Harbolt and RBI singles by Grisham and Chabreck. In the second inning, Gorton and Woolfe hit back-to-back oubles and Harbolt ripped a two-run single as Tigard pushed its lead to 7-0.

Tigard scored four more times in the top of the third and, in the fourth inning, Gorton followed Jeff Jones' double with a two-run home run over the fence in center field as the Twins upped the margin to 13-1.

But Hillsboro started battling back. The Spartans scored a run in the bottom of the fourth and that added six more in the fifth, with the big hit being a bases-loaded triple by Jeremy Lorence, to make the score 13-8.

Woolfe blasted his home run, a solo shot, in Tigard's three-run sixth inning, pushing the lead to 16-8.

But the Spartans scored the game's next six runs. David Gorton hit a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning to trim Tigard's advantage to 16-14.

'I think we got a little nervous there,' Gorton said. 'I know I was sweating.'

Gorton took care of that nervousness in the top of the eighth. With two outs in the frame, and with Harbolt on second base and Jim Blood on first, Gorton hit his second homer of the game with a shot that cleared the fence in left-center field.

'That felt pretty good,' he said with a smile.

Tigard added on five more runs in the top of the ninth and Gorton, pitching in relief, threw a perfect bottom of the frame to wrap up the Twins' wild 24-15 win.

'The kids really battled,' Stanley said.

Ben Millar, the first of three Tigard relief pitchers, got the win. Twins starter Miles Kreisberg worked the first 4 2/3 innings and left the game with a 13-4 lead.

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The Twins advanced in the playoffs by sweeping Hillsboro with a 13-8 victory in Tigard on Sunday.

The Twins pounded out 15 hits and broke open a close game with five runs in the eighth to take a 13-6 lead. Tigard batted through the order in the frame with Jones driving in a pair of runs.

Cederberg added an RBI single. He stole third with two outs as the batter swung at a third strike in the dirt. The catcher's throw to first was off the mark as Cederberg came around to score for some insurance.

Woolfe finished the series 10 for 11 after collecting four hits, including a pair of doubles. Isaiah Ferrer also had four hits for Tigard.

Gorton threw the final two innings to pick up the save.

The Twins move on to play East County in another three-game series that began Wednesday night in Sandy. Tigard hosts the Knights in a 8:30 p.m. game Thursday with a Friday game at Sandy if necessary.

"Hopefully we keep swinging the bats like we have," Stanley said. "We should be competitive. I feel we can play with most anybody."