If the Tigers can get their offense going, they could soar

by: DAN BROOD - COMING UP BIG -- Tigard High School junior Jake Biglow could be part of a strong Tiger pitching staff going into Pacific Conference play this season. Biglow also should se action at first base. TIGARD — The pitching looks to be strong and deep.

The defense should be solid — very solid.

That leaves the Tigard High School baseball team looking at one major question mark heading into Pacific Conference play — the offense.

And, if the Tigers can answer up to that question, they could be in for good things in league action this season.

“We’re where I thought we’d be,” Tigard coach Tom Campbell said. “Our pitching has been very solid and our defense has been really good. But we’re looking a little thin on offense now, after we got off to a great start to the season.”

Tigard does return some key players from last year’s squad that tied for second place in the Pacific Conference standings at 13-4 while going 17-11 on the season.

Among those key returnees are senior Robby Chabreck and junior Jake Biglow, who will help lead the Tigers’ deep pitching staff. Chabreck, a right-hander, was an honorable mention all-league pick on the mound last year, and he’s already recorded a shutout victory over defending Class 6A state champion Oregon City this year.

Other pitchers for the Tigers include senior George Still, senior Conner Bryant, junior Ray Barlow, junior Joe Lobbato, junior Jessie Bye, junior John MacFarlane and senior Patrick Finn.

Through Tigard’s first eight games of the season, the Tigers have a team earned-run average of less than 2.00.

At catcher, Tigard will have senior Brittain Schneider and junior Bradley Imai.

Biglow, when he’s not pitching, will see action at first base. Barlow and junior Nick Duron will also see time at first.

Junior Bruin Campbell returns for the Tigers at second base. He was an honorable mention all-league pick at that position last year.

Junior Shane Rasor takes over at shortstop. At third base, the Tigers will have Bryant, who is a transfer from Sandy, Bye or MacFarlane.

Finn and Chabreck are among the key returnees in the outfield for Tigard. Other outfielders include MacFarlane, Lobbato, senior Kristian Allen, senior Parker Garland and senior Wade Johnson.

As for the Pacific Conference this season, Campbell sees a competitive battle ahead for the top spots in the league.

“It’s going to be real tough,” he said. “I think everyone has at least one or two pitchers that they can count on. McMinnville has some really deep pitching, Tualatin is real deep, Newberg has (unanimous returning first-team pick Cole) Miller back and Century has (Brad) Bennett.”

And where might the Tigers fit in?

“I think we’re in the hunt,” Campbell said. “I think we can finish in the top three or four. Our pitching depth will really help.”

The Tigers opened their Pacific Conference schedule on Tuesday by scoring an 11-2 win over Glencoe. With that victory, Tigard improved its overall mark to 7-3.

The teams were scheduled to complete their two-game series Wednesday with a game at Glencoe. Results of that game weren’t available when the Times went to press.

Tigard will be back in action Friday when it faces rival Tualatin in a conference game set to start at 5 p.m. at Tualatin High School.

The teams will complete their two-game series Monday with a 5 p.m. contest at Tigard.

On Wednesday, Tigard will be home to face McMinnville at 5 p.m. in the first-game of a two-game series.

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