Jaguars move into a tie for fourth place after knocking off Tigard twice last week

Century played its way back into the thick of the Pacific Conference baseball race by taking two of three games from Tigard last PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Century catcher Marcos Hernandez looks to put a tag on Tigard senior Parker Garland during last Friday's Pacific Conference baseball game.

The Jaguars moved into a tie for fourth place in the conference standings with three weeks left in the regular season, putting them in prime position to earn the league’s final automatic state playoff berth.

The conference’s top four teams advance directly to the Class 6A playoff bracket, while the bottom four teams must win a state play-in game first.

Coming off back-to-back losses to rival Hillsboro, the Jaguars responded last Tuesday with a 5-1 win over Tigard, then followed it up with a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over the Tigers on Wednesday.

In the opener, senior Josh Packard went 2-for-3 and fellow senior Hunter Hall was 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored. Hall also picked up the win on the pitcher’s mound with four strong innings, limiting Tigard to four hits and one run before giving way to relievers Kyle Gilligan and Tristan Howell for the final three innings.

Wednesday’s game was a considerably more dramatic affair, with Tigard taking a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning. Century scored a run in the sixth, then capped the comeback with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to snatch away the victory.

Gilligan and senior Chaz Stobbs had two hits apiece for the Jaguars, with Stobbs belting a pair of doubles.

Senior Brad Bennett went the distance on the mound, scattering five hits and allowing only one earned run in seven innings. He struck out five batters and walked four.

Tigard did manage to salvage a win in the series finale on Friday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning and holding on for a 2-1 victory.

Packard singled to lead off the fourth inning and came around to score on Zach Allen’s ground-rule double to right field, but the Jaguars couldn’t muster any more offense against Tigard starter Conner Bryant.

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