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The young Tigard OIBA squad is edged by Reynolds

by: DAN BROOD - HE'S SAFE -- Tigard's Brady McGetrick (left) beats a throw to first for an infield single in Friday's game.TIGARD — They’re young. Really young.

And, due to some injuries to key players, they’re not at full strength.

But they sure do battle. And they almost battled their way to an impressive come-from-behind victory.

The Tigard Longhorns, trailing right from the start, rallied strong late, but came up short as they fell 4-2 to Reynolds in an Oregon Independent Baseball Association game played Friday at Tigard High School.

“We almost got it,” Jake Biglow, a Tigard High School senior-to-be, said after the game. “We were just a play away.”

“We had our chances,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said.

With the setback, the Longhorns fell to 3-8 on the summer season to that point. Still, the youthful team has been showing potential.

“We’ve got a lot of new guys, but they’re talented young guys who can play,” Biglow said. “We’re looking to grow as a team. We’re getting some chemistry going.”

“We’re hoping to get the younger kids a lot of experience,” Campbell said. “We want to play as much as we can.”

Tigard found itself facing an early deficit in Friday’s game. Jay Rogers gave Reynolds an early 2-0 lead when he hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run — with the ball rolling to the 419-foot sign in left-center field — in the top of the first inning.

Reynolds tacked on another run in the top of the second inning. Jake Erdman hit a one-out triple to left-center field and he scored on a single by Cameron Sheets to give the visitors a 3-0 advantage.

Meanwhile, the Longhorns were having troubles getting their bats going against Reynolds starting pitcher Brady Ching. The left-hander didn’t allow Tigard to get a runner on base over the first four innings of the contest.

But the persistent Longhorns finally got something going in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tigard junior-to-be Brady McGetrick broke up Ching’s no-hit bid with a leadoff infield single.

McGetrick was forced out at second base on a fielder’s choice grounder by Ray Barlow, but Biglow followed with a line-drive single to center field. Another fielder’s choice grounder, with everyone safe on a double-play attempt, loaded the bases with one out.

But another fielder’s choice grounder, with Barlow being thrown out at home plate, and a foul out to right field, kept the Longhorns from scoring.

Reynolds added on to its lead in the top of the sixth inning. Erdman doubled to left field to lead off the frame and he scored on a single by Sheets to up the margin to 4-0.

But the Longhorns were able to break through in the bottom of the inning. Senior-to-be Bradley Imai singled to left field to lead off the frame. Imai moved to second base on a balk and he advanced to third base on a Reynolds throwing error with one out.

Imai then scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by senior-to-be Shane Rasor to cut the Reynolds lead to 4-1 going into the seventh inning.

Tigard put Reynolds down in order in the top of the seventh. The Longhorns then tried to come storming back in the bottom of the frame.

Biglow drew a one-out walk to get things going. Junior-to-be Tyler Walker followed with a triple to right field, but Biglow, trying to score, was thrown out at the plate on a close call for the second out of the inning.

But the Longhorns didn’t quit. Senior-to-be Joe Lobbato singled to right field, driving in Walker to make the score 2-0. Senior-to-be Austin Goodsell followed with a single to center field and Imai walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases.

The next Tigard batter, junior-to-be Cole Cameron, smacked a line drive down the first-base line, but Reynolds first baseman David Dodson snagged the ball to end the Longhorn rally and wrap up his team’s 4-2 victory.

“Today, we didn’t hit the ball,” said Biglow, who pitched the first five innings of the contest for the Longhorns. “But we have been stringing them together.”

Tigard, in the loss, had six hits, all coming in the final three innings. McGetrick, Biglow, Imai, Walker, Lobbato and Goodsell all had one hit apiece for the Longhorns.

Tigard also got strong defensive play from senior-to-be Jessie Bye at third base. He had four assists and one putout in the contest, including a nifty backhanded grab in the top of the seventh inning, in addition to starting a fourth-inning double play.

“Jessie has been playing real well this summer,” Campbell said.

On Monday, the Longhorns split a doubleheader with Skyview, Wash. Skyview won the first game 5-2, but the Longhorns came back to get a 5-2 victory in the second game.

Tigard was scheduled to host Grant in a doubleheader on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The Longhorns will be back in action today (Thursday) when they start play at the Lake Oswego Tournament. The tourney runs through Sunday at Lake Oswego High School. On Monday, the Longhorns will host Clackamas in a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. at Tigard High School.

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