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Tualatin Senior Feds advance to state tourney

The team places second in its district tournament and heads to state

The Tualatin Junior Baseball Organization Senior Federal baseball team placed second in the Clackamas County district tournament held July 21-23. The second-place finish qualified Tualatin for the pre-state tournament playoff game, which it subsequently won, earning the team a berth in the state tournament July 27-30.

The Wolves entered the district tournament as the No. 1 seed, after taking first in the league for the regular season. As the district runner-up, Tualatin faced Mt. Hood of Gresham (Barlow), the Tri-County district's No. 3 seed, in a playoff game with the winner advancing to the state tournament.

The game was a defensive duel through six innings with the scored tied 1-1 and each team with just two hits. The Wolves struck first in the bottom of the fourth when Tim Johnston led off with a triple and scored on Mark Lambson's fly ball hit. Mt. Hood tied the game in the top of the fifth.

After a scoreless sixth, Mt. Hood squeaked out a run in the top of the seventh. Tualatin battled back in the bottom of the frame, starting with consecutive singles by Brandon Snyder and Lambson. Conner George followed with a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up a base, and Jacob Wark was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Tualatin put on the squeeze play and Nick Popma laid down the bunt to allow Snyder to score the tying run as Popma reached on the single. With two outs and the bases loaded, Collin Knudsen battled patiently to a full count before drawing a walk to score Lambson with the winning run.

Lambson pitched the first five innings of the 3-2 victory, while George came on in the sixth to pick up the win.

Wark pitched five strong innings and Austin Rose closed out Tualatin's 9-4 opening-game victory in the district tournament. The Wolves got on the board in the second on three consecutive doubles by Wark, Popma and Knudsen. After George moved Knudsen to third, Rowdy Pizer doubled him in for a 3-2 lead.

Joe Pozo walked and scored on Snyder's triple in the third. Lambson followed with another triple and Wark doubled in Lambson for a 6-2 Tualatin lead. The Wolves' added another run in the fourth on Michael Espinoza's sacrifice fly that plated George, who singled and went to third on Rose's walk and Pizer's single.

Snyder blasted a solo home run in the fifth. Tualatin added another run in the seventh with Johnston getting hit by a pitch, moving to second on a balk and scoring on Austin Smith's single.

Tualatin then beat Putnam 7-1 in the next round behind George's complete-game effort on the mound. The game was close early with Tualatin tying the score 1-1 in the fourth. Smith led off with a bunt single, went to second on Snyder's grounder and to third on Lambson's single before scoring on an outfield error.

The Wolves added three runs in the fifth. George singled and Rose was hit by a pitch before Pizer singled in George. Rose scored on a throwing error and Pozo drove in Pizer.

Tualatin put the game away in the sixth. Snyder led off with a triple and scored on Lambson's single. Wark then tripled in Lambson and subsequently scored on a throwing error.

Tualatin faced No. 2 seed Jackson in the final game of the winner's bracket. Lambson turned in an incredible performance, striking out 13 in the game.

The Wolves tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth, starting with a leadoff double by Smith. Snyder and Lambson drew walks to load the bases for Wark, who grounded in Smith. Snyder later stole home on a missed squeeze play. But Jackson squeaked out a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for the 3-2 victory.

The loss pitted Tualatin against Lake Oswego in an elimination game. The Wolves stayed alive with an 11-6 victory behind the superb complete game performance of Snyder.

Snyder drove in two runs with a triple in the third to give Tualatin a 3-2 lead. Wark and Smith each scored in the fourth. Tualatin added one in the fifth when Pozo walked, stole second and scored on Snyder's hit.

Tualatin tacked on three more runs in the sixth. Knudsen was hit by a pitch and Smith and Rose singled to load the bases. Pizer singled to drive in Smith and Knudsen, and Espinoza added an RBI-single to knock in Rose.

Lake Oswego scored four in the sixth to cut the Wolves' lead to 9-6 before Tualatin added two insurance runs in the seventh. Snyder and Lambson hit consecutive singles, moved up a base on a passed ball, and George singled in both for an 11-6 lead.

The victory sent the Wolves into the championship game and a rematch with Jackson. Tualatin got on the board when Snyder doubled and scored on Lambson's single.

The Wolves took a 6-4 lead in the fourth. Popma singled and Smith doubled before both were driven in by Knudsen's double. After Rose reached on an error, Pizer singled in Knudsen, Espinoza walked and Snyder hit a single to bring home Rose and Pizer.

Jackson scored three times in the fifth for a 7-6 lead before the Wolves tied the game in the seventh. Pozo walked and Snyder and Lambson each singled before George drove in Pozo with the tying run.

Jackson pushed across three controversial runs in the eighth to go ahead 10-7. The Wolves brought loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, but the Jackson defense held off the rally to win the championship.

The team is managed by Rick Snyder and coached by Chad Popma and Sparky DeBarko.