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Tigers left to battle for playoff spot


The race for an automatic bid went down to Wednesdays games

TIGARD — When it comes to earning an automatic Class 6A state playoff berth, the Tigard High School baseball team had control of its own destiny going into its Pacific Conference finale with Hillsboro on Wednesday.

But the Tigers weren’t exactly on a roll going into that contest.

“We’re reeling,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said. “We continue to struggle at the plate.”by: DAN BROOD - MAKING THE TURN -- Tigard High School junior shortstop Shane Rasor (left) makes a throw to first after forcing Forest Grove’s Dylan Haugen at second base in last week’s game.

Tigard, after losing 6-2 at home to Hillsboro in a league game on Tuesday, moved to 8-8 in Pacific Conference play (14-11 overall). That mark put the Tigers in fourth place in the league standings, one game ahead of fifth-place Century going into Wednesday’s league finales.

In order to earn one of the Pacific Conference’s four automatic berths to the state playoffs, Tigard either needed to win at Hillsboro on Wednesday, or have Century lose at McMinnville on Wednesday. Results of those games weren’t available when The Times went to press.

If the Tigers and Century were to tie for fourth place, the Jaguars would get the nod due to winning two of three games against Tigard this season.

Tigard, on May 1, was edged 4-2 by Forest Grove in a league game played at Tigard High School.

The Tigers trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning of that game. Tigard trimmed the lead to 3-1 in the sixth when senior Robby Chabreck scored on a two-out single by senior Conner Bryant.

The Vikings notched a run in the top of the seventh to go up 4-1, but the Tigers tried to fight back in the bottom of the frame.

Junior Nick Duron doubled to right field to lead off the bottom of the seventh. One out later, junior Joe Lobbato doubled down the left-field line, driving in Duron to cut the lead to 4-2. Junior Ray Barlow then drew a walk, putting the potential tying run on base, but the threat ended with back-to-back strikeouts.

“This was a tough loss,” Tigard junior shortstop Shane Rasor said after that game. “We wanted this one, but we’ll put it behind us. We want to make a run for the playoffs.”

Tigard bounced back from the loss to get a 12-5 win over the Vikings in a league game played Friday at Forest Grove High School.

In that game, Duron went 2 for 3 at the plate with four runs scored, a double and two RBIs. Junior Bruin Campbell went 3 for 5 with a bases-loaded triple and four RBIs. Bryant went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a double and senior Brittain Schneider went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.

Senior George Still pitched strong in relief for the Tigers, giving up no runs on two hits while striking out six in three and two-thirds innings of work.

If the Tigers ended up finishing in fourth place in the final league standings, they’ll automatically advance to the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs, which start on May 20.

If the Tigers ended up out of the top four, they’ll have to play in a Class 6A state play-in contest, likely to be played on Tuesday.