East County advances with 3-2 thriller over Twins
- David Ball
- The Times - Sports
The Twins lead 1-0 early, but don't score again and see East County get even
SANDY - East County escaped a couple late scares to beat Tigard 3-2 and take its best-of-three playoff series Friday night.
The Knights broke up a scoreless game in the fifth inning when Will DeBiccari sent a two-out blooper into center field to score Jim Bray from second base. East County pitcher Austan Mason helped his own cause by banging a two-run double over the Tigard right fielder's head to extend the lead to 3-0 later in the inning.
Tigard made a late charge when Nate Grisham hit an RBI-single and Gunner Cederberg came home on an East County error to cut its deficit to 3-2.
The Twins then threatened to force extra innings when Isaiah Ferrer connected for a double in the ninth. But East County reliever Greg Bobnick struck out the next batter and forced a fly out to right field to end the game.
'I felt like we put in a good effort considering both guys they threw at us tonight are college pitchers,' Tigard manager Jason Stanley said. 'I felt like we had a chance to win every game in this series.'
In addition to his game-winning hit, Mason took a shutout into the eighth inning and struck out nine. Mason and Bobnick will enter their sophomore seasons at Mt. Hood Community College in the spring.
Mason almost padded East County's lead in the eighth inning when he drove a ball to deep center field only to have Tigard's Jim Blood back up to the fence and make a catch in front of the 350-foot sign.