Rivalry sizzles in summer heat
Tualatin comes away with a 3-1 win over Tigard when the rivals clash in OIBA action
TUALATIN - Summer vacation?
Not for this rivalry - it doesn't seem to ever take a vacation.
It always seems to be a well-played, hard-fought close battle when Tigard and Tualatin match up on the baseball field - even in July.
That sure looked to be the case Saturday, when the Tualatin-based Suburban Door OIBA baseball team scored a 3-1 win over Tigard in a semifinal game of the Suburban Door Wood Bat Tournament played at Tualatin High School.
'It's always a great game when we play Tigard,' said Nick Bland, a Tualatin High School senior-to-be who belted a pair of doubles for the Dawgs in Saturday's game.
'It's still intense, even in the summer,' said Longhorns starting pitcher Robby Chabreck, who is a Tigard High School junior-to-be. 'We really wanted to win, but it was still fun.'
With the win, Suburban Door improved to 18-4 at that point in the summer season.
'We're doing real well,' said Suburban Door's Cooper Brunner, a Tualatin sophomore-to-be who was the winning pitcher in Saturday's game. 'We're finding out where we are. We've got good team chemistry. Us younger guys are just fitting in.'
Brunner and Chabreck locked up in a pitchers' duel early in the game, with neither team being able to score in the first three innings of the contest.
But Tigard broke through to get a run in the top of the fourth frame.
Jesse Wantland hit a leadoff single to right field to start things off for the Longhorns. Erik Lien was then hit by a pitch and Tucker Campbell reached base on an error to load the bases with no outs.
Brunner got a strikeout for the first out of the inning, but Wantland would score on a sacrifice fly by Chabreck to give the Longhorns a 1-0 lead.
Tigard was still up 1-0 when the Dawgs stormed back in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Bland ignited things for Suburban Door with a leadoff double to center field. Andrew Schlottmann then drew a walk and Brandon Durdel followed with a bunt single to load the bases with no outs.
Jon Fishback was then safe when Tigard committed an error on his grounder. Bland scored on the play to tie the game at 1-1.
Schlottmann then scored from third on a groundout by Travis Johnson, giving the Tualatin team a 2-1 lead.
Suburban Door tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Bland again got things going for the Dawgs, this time with a one-out double down the left-field line. Schlottmann and C.J. Michael drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. After a fielder's choice grounder, with Bland being thrown out at the plate, Schlottmann scored on a grounder by Johnson to give the Dawgs a 3-1 advantage.
Tigard tried to fight back in the top of the seventh. Bruin Campbell singled to left field to lead off the frame for the Longhorns.
But, one out later, Brunner coaxed a game-winning double play with Gunnar Gustafson, playing at third base, fielding a grounder and making a quick throw to Fishback at second base. Fishback then fired the ball to Bland at first in time for the game-ending twin-killing.
'It was a well-played game and both teams had a lot of intensity,' Suburban Door coach Adam Strachan said.
'It's always competitive when we play Tigard,' Brunner said. 'It's always fun when we play against them.'
Brunner, in getting the pitching win, turned in a complete-game performance on the mound. In seven innings of work, he gave up one unearned run on three hits while striking out four and walking two.
'I felt pretty good out there,' he said. 'My change-up was working pretty good and I mostly went with outside pitches.'
'I love Cooper,' Strachan said. 'He throws four pitches for strikes and everything he throws moves a ton.'
Bland led the Suburban Door hitting attack with his two doubles.
'I was just looking for something to drive,' he said.
Johnson and Durdel each added a hit for the Dawgs.
Chabreck pitched a strong game for Tigard. In four-plus innings of work, he gave up one earned run on three hits.
'I felt good,' he said. 'I just got done with football camp, so I was exhausted, but my arm still felt good.'
Jake Biglow pitched the final two frames for the Longhorns, giving up one run on one hit.
Wantland had two hits and Bruin Campbell had one hit for Tigard, which moved to 24-14 on the summer season at that point with the setback.
On Sunday, Tualatin wrapped up the tournament championship with a 5-0 win over Lake Oswego in the title game.
'That's a big deal,' Strachan said. 'Lake Oswego is a very good team. That was a measuring stick for us.'
Johnson picked up the pitching win in the title game. In a complete-game performance, he gave up just two hits while striking out five and walking two.
Schlottmann had a key two-run triple in the third inning to break a scoreless tie. Suburban Door, as a team, went 8-for-8 in stolen-base attempts in the championship game, with Nathan Suyematsu, Johnson and Schlottmann each having a pair of stolen bases.
The Dawgs also won their other two games at the tournament.
On Saturday, Suburban Door scored a 9-3 win over Canby. Suyematsu was the winning pitcher, striking out four in six innings of work. Johnson went 2-for-3 at the plate and also stole a pair of bases. Fishback went 2-for-2.
On Sunday, Suburban Door posted a 7-5 win over Putnam. Schlottmann and Scott Allred combined to pitch the Dawgs to the win. Brunner went 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple.
Tigard scored a 7-3 win over Century in Sunday's tournament third-place game.
Tualatin, which is 10-0 in Murphy Division play, was scheduled to play a league doubleheader at Aloha on Wednesday. Results of those games weren't available when the Times went to press.
Tigard was slated to host Wilsonville in an Olin Division game on Wednesday.