Tigers tipped in extra-innings clash
Southridge, with a home run in the 9th, gets the state playoff victory
TIGARD - For a while, it looked like the Tigard-Southridge state playoff baseball game could go on for a long, long time.
With both teams getting strong pitching and coming up with clutch defensive plays, it appeared that the 2-2 tie that the squads took to the ninth inning might stand for a while longer.
But, in the end, one hit made the difference.
Southridge, getting a solo home run by junior Jacob Zanon in the top of the ninth inning, came away with a 3-2 victory in the Class 6A state playoff first-round game played Monday at Tigard High School.
'It was a good game,' Tigard senior Jesse Wantland said after the contest. 'It was definitely intense. They made good plays and we made good plays. It came down to just one hit.'
Southridge, with the win, improved to 16-12. Tigard, which shared the runner-up spot in the Pacific Conference, finished its season with a final record of 17-11.
'It was a pretty good season,' Wantland said. 'We didn't finish as strong as we wanted, but we fought in every game.'
'We made strides,' Tigard coach Tom Campbell said. 'And our pitchers were consistent all season long. I'm pleased with the guys.'
Southridge, in Monday's contest, grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Skyhawk junior Chandler Whitney drew a leadoff walk to get things started. He around to score the game's first run when Zanon laced a one-out triple to the fence in right-center field. Zanon scored later in the inning on a single by senior Luke Merkel to give Southridge its early 2-0 advantage.
The Tigers were still trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, but that's when they came fighting back.
Wantland hit a one-out double down the right-field line to get the rally started. Wantland then scored on a single by senior Erik Lien to trim the Southridge lead to 2-1.
Lien scored later in the frame on a two-out single by senior Brody Parsons to tie the contest at 2-2.
The game was still deadlocked at 2-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Tigard came up with a threat in the frame, but came up empty.
Tiger sophomore Bruin Campbell reached second base on a Southridge throwing error to start the inning. After Parsons was intentionally walked, the Skyhawks got a strikeout and a ground out.
Tigard senior leadoff hitter Hikaru Mizuno then hit a rocket-shot line drive that looked to be a potential game-winning hit, but the ball was hit right at Southridge senior shortstop Sam Albert, who made the inning-ending grab.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Southridge took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth inning when Zanon hit a solo home run to left field.
Parsons drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Merkel, pitching in relief for the Skyhawks, coaxed an inning-ending groundout to wrap up the win for Southridge.
'We rallied, but we just didn't get the hits when we needed them,' Wantland said.
'After being down 2-0 early, I thought our kids showed a lot of gumption and backbone,' Campbell said. 'While we wanted a different outcome, I was pleased with the effort.'
The Tigers got some strong pitching in the contest.
Senior Kyler Heaston started on the mound for Tigard. He allowed two runs in four innings of work. Junior Robby Chabreck pitched the final five frames for the Tigers. He gave up one run on four hits.
Tigard got hits from Wantland, Lien and Parsons. Parsons, Tigard's catcher, also threw out Southridge runner trying to steal second.
The playoff loss marked the final high school game for Tigard seniors Mizuno, Tucker Campbell, Taylor Bui, Parsons, Lien, Heaston, Parker Garland, Correy Pizer, Andre Metternich, Izaac Gordon and Wantland.