Led by a veteran infield, Tigard looks to make some noise

by: DAN BROOD - GETTING HIS CUT -- Tigard senior Bruin Campbell takes a swing during an early-season game for the Tigers. TIGARD — Things haven’t gone according to plan for the Tigard High School baseball team.

Heading into the 2014 season, it appeared that defense and hitting could be the possible strengths of the Tigers, with the pitching being a bit of a question mark.

Well, for now at least, that can be thrown out the window.

“We haven’t turned out to be the type of team I thought we’d be,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said. “Our pitching has been fine, but we’ve started off a little bit rough on defense, and we haven’t been hitting the ball.”

But that doesn’t mean that things won’t get better for the Tigers, who carried high hopes into the season. In fact, they seemingly already have.

“Our defense is starting to get better,” Campbell said. “Now, we just need to figure things out on offense. We’ve seen some decent pitching. We just need to make adjustments.”

And, with a veteran squad, including a strong group of returnees from last year’s Tigard team that finished fourth in the Pacific Conference at 8-9 while going 14-14 on the season.

In fact, the Tigers return all four starters in the infield.

That group includes senior Bruin Campbell, who will be back at second base. Last year, Campbell was a unanimous first-team All-Pacific Conference selection as an infield.

At shortstop, Tigard returns senior Shane Rasor, who was an honorable mention all-conference pick a year ago.

Tigard also returns senior Jesse Bye at third base and senior Jake Biglow at first base.

“It’s nice having those four seniors back,” Tom Campbell said.

Senior Ray Barlow will also see action at first base and junior Cole Cameron will be at third base when Bye is pitching.

Bye looks to be one of the top hurlers for Tigard’s deep pitching staff.

by: DAN BROOD - MULTI-TALENTED -- Senior Nick Duron could be a key player for the Tigers in the outfield or on the mound.Also set to see action on the mound for the Tigers are Barlow, senior Nick Duron, sophomore David Howell, freshman left-hander Brett Thomas, senior Henry Ammann and junior Tyler Walker.

Tigard has three players vying for time at catcher in senior Bradley Imai, junior Jarod Gogal and junior Tyler Prock.

In the outfield, Tigard looks to have a deep group in Walker, junior Brady McGetrick, Duron, Gogal and senior Joe Lobbato.

“I think we have good overall strength,” Tom Campbell said. “We should be strong in all phases. Our pitching has been good. The key for us will be getting our offense started.”

As for the Pacific Conference this season, Campbell sees defending champion Tualatin as the favorite.

“It’s Tualatin and everyone else,” he said. “Hillsboro will be a factor. I think we’ll be in the mix. After Tualatin, it will be everyone in a horse race.”

Tigard finished spring break with an overall record of 2-4. On Tuesday, Tigard lost 3-2 at Lake Oswego to move to 2-5.

The Tigers will be back in action today (Thursday) when they play Reynolds in a non-league game starting at 4:30 p.m. at Reynolds Middle School.

On Saturday, Tigard will host Sprague in a make-up game starting at noon at Tigard High School. The Tigers will open their Pacific Conference schedule Tuesday when they travel to McMinnville for a 4:30 p.m. contest.

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