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Tigers come alive at tourney

Baseball: Tigard rallies to get a 6-3 win over McNary in the Tigard Tournament tilt
by: JONATHAN HOUSE, KNUCKLES — Tigard’s Miles Kreisberg (left) congratulates Andrew Woolfe after he scored in the third inning of the Tigers’ game with McNary on Monday. Tigard rallied to score a 6-3 victory.

TIGARD - McNary starter Chad Fahey was darn near untouchable the first time through Tigard's lineup.

The second time? Well, that was different altogether.

The Tigers fell behind early before coming alive to beat the Celtics 6-3 on Monday to improve to 3-0 in their host tournament at Tigard High School.

Fahey retired nine of the first 10 Tigers he faced before a light rain started to fall, as did his control - of the Tigers and in general. Tigard broke through on first baseman Andrew Woolfe's two-run double with two outs in the third to take a 3-2 lead.

'The first two innings they were real loud,' said Tigard's Ryan Gorton of a boisterous McNary bench. 'That took our mind off the at-bats. We didn't touch him in the first two innings. But we got some cheap baserunners and Woolfe came up with the big double. The mental block evaporated.'

The Tigers came up clutch again in the fourth when Gorton tripled to drive in a pair with two outs then later scored himself to add some insurance. Tigard's pitching made sure it wasn't needed, scattering four Celtic hits in the final four innings.

'Our pitching is really strong,' Woolfe said. 'The hitting is slowly coming along. We need to be more aggressive at the plate. Everyone in the lineup can swing it.'

They did, albeit with little luck in the first two innings against Fahey, who struck out three with Miles Kreisberg providing the only blemish on a single to left in the second.

Gorton began the two-out rally in the third with a hard grounder in the hole that was stopped by a diving shortstop, but with no time to get the speedy runner. After a balk, Isaiah Ferrer was hit by a pitch before a wild pitch moved both into scoring position.

Woolfe followed by lining a double deep into the right-center field gap, knocking in Gorton and Ferrer for a 2-2 tie. Woolfe went to third on a wild pitch then scored the go-ahead run on Josh Harbolt's RBI-single into center.

'That pitcher was good. He had our number in the first two innings,' Woolfe said. 'After we saw him once, we knew how to time him and what pitches he throws. Gorto (Gorton) got on and I banged him in. The intensity really picked up from there.'

It continued into the fourth - as did Fahey's control troubles. He walked the first two batters, who were moved up a base on Eric Chesnutis' sacrifice bunt. After a fly out, Gorton fought off two 0-2 pitches before lining a triple over the center fielder to plate Pat Chabreck and Axel Cederberg for a 5-2 lead.

On the next pitch, Gorton broke for home in Fahey's wind-up, catching him off guard and resulting in a balk to extend Tigard's lead to 6-2. That was more than enough for three Tigard pitchers, who averted damage by stranding seven Celtics in scoring position in the game.

Kreisberg went four innings, working his way out of jams after allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and an error in the first inning.

He got into trouble again in the second before helping himself with by thwarting McNary's suicide squeeze attempt. The ball was bunted right back to Kreisberg who quickly tossed to catcher Conor Clark for the tag and second out. After a four-pitch walk loaded the bases, the crafty left-hander floated an offspeed pitch past a swinging Celtic for an inning-ending strikeout.

Tigard moved into the lead and Harbolt and Gorton closed out the victory, though each also pitched out of dicey situations. An error put two runners in scoring position against Harbolt in the fifth before he set down a Celtic looking. Harbolt struck out three in two scoreless innings.

Gorton came on to start the seventh, walking two and giving up an RBI-triple to McNary's Jon Johnson before Harbolt, Ferrer and Woolfe spun a game-ending double play.

Despite the slow start in the 10 a.m. game, Tigard rallied to improve to 5-1 on the season.

'I didn't like the way we started the game,' Tigers' co-coach Shawn Alderman said. 'We didn't have a lot of energy. Thankfully we had that one inning with a couple hits to get it going.'

Tigard opened the tournament with Saturday's 3-2 victory over Liberty then beat Roosevelt 14-3 on Sunday. The Tigers' game with North Salem on Tuesday was suspended due to rain and was scheduled to be completed on Wednesday.

'They're doing a fantastic job,' Alderman said. 'The pitching's been good, but we made too many mental and baserunning errors (Monday). Part of that's lack of practice. We'll be a much better team in a month.'

Tigard hosts two more non-conference games next week (Southridge on Monday and Clackamas on Thursday) before beginning league play April 9 against Forest Grove.