OREGON CITY - Tualatin's Senior National Junior Baseball Organization team battled against the odds to win the Clackamas County District Tournament, held July 16-19, earning the team a trip to the state tournament, which will be held today (Thursday) through Sunday at Williams Field in Corvallis.
Tualatin started the district event by scoring an 8-1 win over Canby 8-1 in a play-in game to get into the tournament, seeding the team seventh out of eight teams.
Tualatin got off to a quick start against the second-seeded Putnam, posting two runs in each of the first two innings while holding Putnam scoreless.
Max McPherson had a key hit in the second inning to score two runs with two outs.
'It was important we score every inning to keep the pressure on and Max had a big hit' coach Scott McPherson said. 'You could feel the wind go out of their sails when the ball went into right center.'
Tyler Redifer, Doug Skinner and Vatche Nachaccian held Putnam to two runs on three hits in the 13-2 victory. Ryan Hansen, Vince Hendricks and Josh Watson, Devon Gillard and Skinner led the offensive attack with 2-for-3 outings each.
In the second game Tualatin faced No. 3-seed North Marion and were in for a dogfight.
Tualatin struck first in the second inning with Josh Watson drawing a leadoff walk and Alex Williams providing a key hit to score Watson giving Tualatin a 1-0 lead. After three innings it was tied 1-1 and North Marion was on the attack posting two runs in the top of the forth to go up 3-1 but Tualatin answered with two runs of their own with Redifer and Nachaccian scoring on base hits making it 3-3.
In the fifth inning, North Marion scored two runs and Tualatin answered with one of its own when Stahlberg reached base and McPherson drove him in, making the score 5-4 after five innings played.
North Marion was unable to get anything going in the top of the sixth and Tualatin saw an opportunity to strike. Devon Gillard led of the inning with a key base hit and Tualatin was off to the races bringing nine hitters to the plate scoring three runs taking the lead for good at 7-5.
In the championship game Tualatin faced a familiar rival they had seen before and hadn't beaten in West Linn but that didn't appear to be a factor.
Tualatin came out with bats blazing scoring the first six runs in the game and by the time the dust had settled it was 6-0 in favor of Tualatin going into the bottom of the fourth. West Linn scored two in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-2 but Tualatin keep the pressure on putting another one across in the sixth and tighten down the defense allowing only two more runs to finish off West Linn 7-4 for the county championship.
CJ Dahm made a key play in the seventh inning, tagging a runner going to third base for the third out ending West Linn's bases-loaded comeback threat.
'We hadn't beaten them but we hadn't played well in any of the games' Chase White said.
'We knew we could beat them if we played our game' Tualatin catcher Max McPherson said.
Tualatin's offense was anchored by Max McPherson and Ryan Hansen, who each went 2-for-3 at the plate. Every player for Tualatin posted at least one hit in the game.
Tualatin is coached by Ted Skinner, Krikor Nachaccian, Zach McPherson, Scott Redifer, Bob White, Dave Hendricks and managed by Scott McPherson.