The Horns get a 3-2 win as both teams prep for playoffs

by: DAN BROOD - PLAY AT THE PLATE -- Tigard catcher Sam Nihill (left) holds up the ball after tagging out Sherwood's Cam DuFault during Tuesday's OIBA game played at Tigard High School. The Longhorns came away with a 3-2 win over Sherwood. TIGARD — Postseason play.

It’s just around the corner for both the Tigard and Sherwood OIBA baseball teams.

They tuned up for the playoffs maybe the best way possible — by battling each other.

Tigard, getting strong pitching, defense and some timely hitting, got a 3-2 win over Sherwood in a battle of postseason contenders played Tuesday under scorching skies at Tigard High School.

“It was pretty good,” said Tyler Walker, a Tigard High School senior-to-be who turned in a complete-game pitching performance for the Longhorns. “We’re playing great defense, and, when you have good defense behind you like that, you don’t have to worry about getting strikeouts.”

Tigard and Sherwood will both jump into postseason play later this week. They’ll each play in a best-of three series sometime between Friday and Sunday (opponents and exact days and times weren’t set when the Times went to press). The best-of-three series will determine seeding for the 16-team OIBA end-of-season tournament, which starts Tuesday at Oregon City High School.

“I think we’re good. We’re ready,” said Cam DuFault, a Sherwood High School senior-to-be. “We just need to stick to our game.”

“This is what we wanted to do,” Sherwood coach Jon Strohmaier said of qualifying for postseason play. “We need some games with playoff atmosphere. We’re just young, at least inexperienced.”

That also could be said of the Longhorns.

“We’re a young team,” Walker said. “So we want to go as far, and play as many games, as we can.”

Tigard took the early lead in Tuesday’s game, getting a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Cole Cameron got things started for the Longhorns, drawing a one-out walk. Brady McGetrick followed with a single to left field, and Connor Wojahn walked to load the bases.

Walker then singled to center field, driving in both Cameron and McGetrick to give the Longhorns a quick 2-0 lead.

by: DAN BROOD - ROCK AND FIRE -- Tigard's Tyler Walker gets ready to fire a pitch to the plate during the Longhorns' 3-2 win over Sherwood on Tuesday. Walker picked up a complete-game pitching win and drove in two runs. But Sherwood answered right back in the top of the second inning.

Brenden Wexted reached first base on an infield single to lead off the frame. Lucas Adams then tripled to left field, driving in Wexted to cut the Tigard lead to 2-1. Tanner Dillree followed with a sacrifice fly to deep right field, plating Adams to tie the game at 2-2.

Tigard came right back to regain the lead in the bottom of the second.

Henry Ammann led off the frame with a single to center field. He moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Sam Nihill and then advanced to third base on Brett Thomas’ single to center. Ammann then scored on a bunt single by Cameron, giving the Longhorns a 3-2 advantage.

Sherwood looked to have a chance to come back and tie the game, or even take the lead, in the top of the fourth inning.

DuFault led off the frame with a double down the left-field line. Wexted followed with a bloop single, with the ball landing just beyond second base, keeping DuFault at the bag.

However, DuFault was able to move up to third on a fielder’s choice grounder by Dillree. Sherwood then tried to get the tying run on a double steal, but DuFault was thrown out at the plate, with Nihill making the tag.

From there, Walker, and the Tigard defense took over.

Walker retired the final nine Sherwood batters he faced, getting a key sliding catch from center fielder Alex Kelly in the process.

“Once I found my curveball, I was OK,” Walker said. “That helped a lot.”

Walker, in his complete-game performance, allowed two runs on five hits while striking out five and walking none.

“Tyler was real solid,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said. “He’s had three or four good games in a row, now. And, overall, our defense has been solid. Jarod Gogal is doing a good job at third base and Cole Cameron is doing a good job at shortstop.”

Tigard had seven hits as a team in the contest. Thomas had two of those hits while McGetrick, Walker, Ammann, Cameron and J.T. Greenough added one hit apiece.

by: DAN BROOD - INTO PLAY -- Sherwood's Adley Rutschman smacks the ball during Tuesday's OIBA game at Tigard.For Sherwood, Wexted had a pair of hits while Adams, Adley Rutschman and DuFault each added a hit.

“That’s a tough one,” DuFault said. “We had some opportunities, but we couldn’t put the ball in play, and they played some good defense.”

“We made a few mistakes, and the put the ball in play more than we did,” Strohmaier said.

Dillree, a left-hander, pitched the first four innings for Sherwood. He gave up three runs on five hits while striking out two and walking two.

Jared Urbach threw the final two frames for Sherwood, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one.

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