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Tigard is off to a strong start


Despite loss to Sprague, the Tigers are playing solid ball

TIGARD — For four-plus innings, things were going really well for the Tigard High School baseball team.

The Tigers were hitting the ball hard, they were getting effective pitching and they were playing some solid, if not spectacular, defense.

But one unfortunate inning would turn things around.

Sprague, scoring four runs in the top of the sixth inning, came away with a 5-1 win over the Tigers in a Tigard Spring Break Classic game played Sunday morning at Tigard High School.

“We just lost our aggressiveness on offense,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said after the game. “That wasn’t indicative of how we’ve been playing. We’ve been hitting the ball well and playing solid defense.”by: DAN BROOD - GOT HIM -- Tigard High School junior shortstop Shane Rasor (right) holds the ball up after tagging out Sprague's Jackson Engelking on a stolen base attempt in the first inning of Sunday's game.

“We were feeling confident,” said Tigard senior Robby Chabreck, who drove in the Tigers’ run in the contest. “We hit the ball hard, but we hit it right at people. We were just unlucky.”

With the win, Sprague improved to 6-2 on the season at that point. Tigard moves to 3-3 at that point with the setback.

“The season has been going well,” Chabreck said. “We’ve played some really competitive teams, and, even when we’ve lost, we’ve showed some strength. I’m really happy with the team.”

Tigard, the designated visiting team in Sunday’s contest, took a 1-0 lead with a run in the top of the second inning.

Tiger senior Conner Bryant doubled down the left-field line on the first pitch of the frame to get things started. Bryant moved to third base on a groundout by junior Jake Biglow and then he scored on Chabreck’s sacrifice fly to center field, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.

Bryant, playing at third base, then shined on defense in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Sprague junior Cody Hagopian hit a hard grounder toward third, but Bryant made a diving grab of the ball and then he made a quick throw to first. Tiger junior first baseman Ray Barlow made a scoop of the one-hop throw to complete the out.

The Tigers threatened to add on to their lead in the top of the fifth. Junior Joe Lobbato drew a walk to lead off the inning and Chabreck followed with a single to center field. But Sprague relief pitcher A.J. Albus put down the next three Tigard batters in order to get out of the inning unscathed, leaving the Tigers with their 1-0 lead.

Sprague came back to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth. The Olympians loaded the bases with one out in the frame after getting a walk followed by a pair of batters hit by a pitch. Sprague senior Austin Rawlings then singled to center field, driving in Hagopian to tie the game.

Tigard escaped any further damage after junior shortstop Shane Rasor turned an inning-ending double play.

The Tigers tried to regain the lead in the top of the sixth. Junior Bruin Campbell reached first base on a Sprague error with one out in the frame and senior Patrick Finn followed with a single to center. But, again, the Olympians got out of the fame, getting a fly out and pop out to end the inning.

Sprague then scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to go up 5-1. Hagopian had an RBI double in the frame while seniors Dakota Albrecht and Lane Briggs each singled in a run.

Tigard tried to answer back in the top of the seventh. Chabreck reached first base on a Sprague wild pitch on strike three and Barlow hit a one-out single. But Albrecht, pitching in relief, got a strikeout and a groundout to end the game.

“It was just one of those things,” Chabreck said. “We had some big defensive plays.”

Biglow started the game on the mound for the Tigers, but he had to leave after the first inning after suffering some shoulder pain.

Lobbato finished the game on the mound for the Tigers.

Tigard had four hits in the game, one each by Bryant, Chabreck, Finn and Barlow.

The Tigers opened play at the Spring Break Classic by scoring a 1-0 win over defending Class 6A state champion Oregon City.

Chabreck pitched the distance for Tigard in that contest.

“That was nice,” he said. “All of my pitches were working, but the big thing was that our defense was flawless. Shane Rasor (at shortstop) and Bruin Campbell (at second base) made some key plays.”

On Saturday, Tigard posted a 3-2 win over Central Catholic. Tiger senior George Still picked up the pitching victory in that game, striking out 14 in a complete-game performance.

On Monday, the Tigers posted a 5-1 tourney victory over North Marion to move to 4-3 on the season.

Tigard was scheduled to face Corvallis in a Spring Break Classic game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when the Times went to press.

The Tigers will be back in action Tuesday when they’ll host Glencoe in a Pacific Conference opener set to start at 5 p.m. at Tigard High School.

“We want to win league,” said Chabreck, who was part of both the Tigard football and basketball teams that went unbeaten in Pacific Conference play this year. “And then we want to make a long run in the playoffs.”

The teams will then play Wednesday at Glencoe in a league game starting at 5 p.m.