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Horns roll in seeding game


Tigard tunes up for tourney with 9-7 win over Westview

by: DAN BROOD - GOOD JOB -- Tigard's Henry Ammann (right) gets a hug from coach Stace Stillitto after he closed out the Longhorns' 9-7 victory over Westview in Sunday's OIBA tournament seeding game. ROCK CREEK — In all actuality, it was a game that didn’t even matter all that much.

Win or lose, both the Tigard Longhorns and the Westview baseball squads would be advancing on to play in the Oregon Independent Baseball Association season-ending tournament.

So, there wasn’t really much on the line when the teams met up in a tournament seeding game. Just don’t go trying to convince the Longhorns of that.

Tigard, determined to get the victory, posted a 9-7 win over Westview in a roller coaster ride of a game played Sunday at Westview High School.

“Every game is important and every win is important,” said Henry Ammann, a Tigard High School junior-to-be who picked up the pitching win in Sunday’s game. “We want to get our confidence up and our morale up.”

“This game was still important to us,” said Joe Lobbato, a Tigard High senior-to-be who drove in a pair of runs in the victory. “We want to compete at the highest level and we definitely want to get some momentum going into the tournament. We’re confident, and we just like to win.”

With Sunday’s victory, the Longhorns continued their strong late-season play going into the 16-team, double-elimination OIBA tournament, which started Tuesday at Oregon City and Tigard high schools.

“This is a real good group, and I love our chances,” Tigard assistant coach Stace Shillitto said. “The thing our kids have done is answer the other team’s big inning. We’ve answered that with runs of our own.”

That turned to be a key for Tigard in Sunday’s game.

Westview took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of the contest on an RBI single by Teagan Lind.

by: DAN BROOD - BIG SWING -- Tigard's Joe Lobbato takes a big swing during Sunday's game at Westview. Lobbato blasted a key double in the 9-7 victory.Tigard answered back with a run of its own in the top of the second inning. Jarod Gogal got things going with a two-out single to center field. He moved to second base on a passed ball and then advanced to third on a Westview error.

Then, after Jessie Bye drew a walk, Gogal stole home as Bye was in a rundown between first and second base.

The Longhorns then took charge in the top of the third inning, scoring six runs in the frame.

Brady McGetrick singled to left field to lead off the inning. Shane Rasor followed with a bunt single and Bruin Campbell was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.

Lobbato then laced a 3-0 pitch for a double down the right-field line, driving in both McGetrick and Rasor to give Tigard a 3-1 lead.

Lobbato admitted that he was given a take sign on the 3-0 pitch that he hit.

“Yeah, but I didn’t see it,” he said with a laugh. “I was looking at the pitcher.”

Campbell, who advanced to third base on Lobbato’s double, scored on a passed ball to make the score 4-1. Nick Duron, who walked, would score on a bases-loaded, fielder’s choice grounder by Gogal.

Bye then doubled in both Lobbato and Gogal to cap off the big inning and up Tigard’s lead to 7-1.

The Longhorns were still holding their 7-1 advantage going into the bottom of the fourth inning, but that’s when Westview struck back.

The home team, getting a two-run single by Lind, scored six runs in the frame to tie the game at 7-7.

But it didn’t take Tigard long to regain the lead.

Bye scored from third base on a two-out, bases-loaded infield single by Rasor to give the Longhorns an 8-7 advantage in the top of the fifth inning.

Tigard tacked on another run in the top of the seventh inning. Gogal led off the frame with a double to right-center field. He ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly by McGetrick to up the margin to 9-7.

Ammann, pitching in relief for the Longhorns, put Westview down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning, getting the final out on a grounder to Rasor at shortstop, to wrap up the 9-7 victory.

“It was awesome,” Ammann said with a smile.

“That’s a big win for us,” Shillitto said.

Ammann pitched the final three and a third innings for the Longhorns. He gave up no runs on four hits while striking out one and walking one.

“In the fourth inning, I felt some pressure. Tyler (Walker) did a good job pitching to start the game,” Ammann said. “After the fifth inning, I calmed down and got into my motion.”

“Henry has been solid all season,” Shillitto said.

Tigard, as a team, had 11 hits in the victory.

Lobbato helped the offensive attack, going 2 for 5 at the plate with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

“I just kept my eye on the ball,” he said.

Gogal went 3 for 4 at the plate with a double and three runs scored. McGetrick and Rasor added two hits apiece.

Tigard opened OIBA tourney play Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to Lake Oswego in a first-round me played at Tigard High School.

Bye pitched the distance for the Longhorns, needing just 81 pitches and allowing only four hits.

Tigard had three hits in the contest, including a double by Rasor.

The Longhorns were slated to face Sunset in a tournament game on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

If Tigard won Wednesday, it will play in a losers’ bracket second round game today, starting at 11:30 a.m., at Tigard High School.

The tournament championship game is slated to be played Saturday, starting at 4:30 p.m., at Tigard High School.