BASEBALL: The defending league champs return plenty of talented players as they hope to make it two in a row
by: DAN BROOD, TIGERS’ WOOLFE — Tigard junior first baseman Andrew Woolfe (top) should be one of the top hitters in the Pacific Conference. Woolfe and the Tigers will try to win their second straight league title.

TIGARD - Last year, the Tigard High School baseball team captured the Pacific-9 Conference championship.

This year, it looks like the Tigers just may have a chance to celebrate again.

With a strong, talented group of returnees, Tigard is optimistic as the 2007 Pacific Conference season approaches.

'We're really excited about league,' first-year Tigard coach Shawn Alderman said. 'The kids are working hard and we have some talent. The question for us is the depth of our pitching staff.'

The Tigers, who went 15-1 in league play last year (19-8 overall), look to be especially strong in the infield, where all four starters from last year's league title team return.

Junior Andrew Woolfe, a first-team all-league pick last year, will be back at first base.

'He can flat out hit,' Alderman said. 'He's as good of a high school hitter as I've seen, and he's such a hard worker.'

Senior Josh Harbolt, a second-team all-league pick last year, will be back at second base. Junior Axel Cederberg will also see time at second.

At shortstop, Tigard will have junior Isaiah Ferrer, who was an honorable mention all-league pick last year.

Senior Miles Kreisberg, when he's not pitching, will be at third base. Junior Patrick Chabreck will also play some at third.

Kreisberg is also the Tigers' No. 1 pitcher. The right-hander was a second-team all-league pick last year.

'He's a good, crafty pitcher,' Alderman said. 'He's always around the plate.'

K.C. Wiser, a 6-foot-7 senior, will also start on the mound for the Tigers.

'We're looking for a big year from him,' Alderman said. 'He's big, tall and brings it pretty good.'

Junior Ryan Gorton will also be a key pitcher for the Tigers.

'He's got the ability to start, but we'd like to have him in relief,' Alderman said.

Harbolt, Chabreck and Cederberg will also see time on the mound. Junior Conor Clark will be behind the plate.

'No one works harder than Conor,' Alderman said.

Gorton could also catch.

Speaking of Gorton, who is a returning first-team all-league pick, he'll anchor the Tigard outfield out in center field.

'He's our leader out there,' Alderman said.

Gorton could also play at shortstop or at second base if needed.

Junior Eric Chesnutis, senior Jim Blood, junior Taylor Smith, Wiser and Chabreck will also see time in the outfield. Wiser could also play some at first base.

'If we throw strikes, we should be OK,' Alderman said. 'The defense is solid and we have the hitters to score some runs.'

As for the league race this year, Alderman sees a competitive battle for the top spots.

'It's a real good league,' he said. 'Everyone has talent. Canby and Tualatin are always strong. Hopefully, we'll fit in there somewhere.'

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