Tigard team goes 4-0 to open state tourney play

by: DAN BROOD - HERE WE GO -- Tigard's Ty Penn (left) is congratulated by teammate Brayden Smith after scoring a run in the team's 17-1 state tournament win over Medford Nationals on Saturday. TIGARD — The Tigard Little League ages 10-11 all-star baseball team finished the District 4 Tournament on quite a roll.

The Tigard squad kept right on rolling to start the Oregon State Tournament.

Tigard, earning its spot in the state event by winning the District 4 title, opened the Oregon State Tournament by running to a 17-1 win over Medford Nationals in a tourney pool play game played Saturday at Cook Park.

“That was great,” Tigard’s Justice Jackson said after the victory. “We all were hitting the ball and made some sweet plays on defense. We were ready to play and we came to win.”

“That was really fun,” said Jack Hallam, who was one of three pitchers to step up for Tigard in the victory. “We played really well. We weren’t nervous at all. We were confident that we’d do good.”

Tigard followed up the win over Medford by notching three more state tournament pool play wins. On Sunday, Tigard posted a 5-4 win over Reynolds. Tigard then bested Wilshire/Riverside 11-4 on Monday before beating Ashland 16-2 on Tuesday.

by: DAN BROOD - HOME RUN SWING -- Tigard's Mike Brannon connects for a second-inning home run for his team during Tigard''s 17-1 win over Medford Nationals Saturday at the Oregon Little Baseball ages 10-11 state tourney. “We’ve got 12 very, very good players,” Tigard manager Greg Bui said. “And the whole team can pitch. That’s great.”

Tigard, with its 4-0 pool play record, entered Wednesday’s state tournament semifinal round as the No. 1 seed. Tigard was slated to meet Pendleton in Wednesday’s semifinals. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

The winner of the Tigard-Pendleton game will meet the winner of Wednesday’s other semifinal contest, Sprague against Hermiston, tonight (Thursday) in the state championship game, set to start at 6 p.m. at Cook Park.

“We’ve got the district banner, now we want the Oregon banner,” Jackson said.

“We hope we can win it all,” Hallam said after the win over Medford. “We just need to keep playing like we did today.”

And that was pretty darn impressive.

Mike Brannon got things started for Tigard in the win over Medford with a leadoff home run to open the second inning.

Tigard then added two more runs in the top of the third inning. by: DAN BROOD - GOT HIM -- Tigard third baseman Michael McNamee (right) holds up the ball after tagging out Medford's Charlie Campbell in Saturday's state tournament game.Brayden Smith hit an infield single to lead off the frame. Ty Penn then reached base on a Medford error. Kolby Shimojima then drove in both Smith and Penn with a double down the left-field line, giving Tigard a 3-0 lead.

Tigard then put the game away — and then some — by scoring 14 runs in the top of the fifth inning.

In the big inning alone, Jackson went 2 for 2 at the plate with a double, a run scored and four RBIs. Hallam had a pair of RBI singles in the inning. Michael McNamee drove in two runs in the inning with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly.

Medford got a run in the bottom of the fifth inning to make the final score 17-1.

“The guys came loose and ready to play,” Bui said. “They’ve just been waiting to play more baseball.”

Smith, Hallam and Jackson Bui combined to pitch Tigard to the victory. In five innings of work, they combined to give up seven hits while striking out three and walking one.

Tigard, as a team, had 13 base hits in the victory.

McNamee, Brannon, Shimojima, Hallam and Jackson had two hits apiece. Smith, Penn and Jackson Bui each had one hit.

On Sunday, Tigard had to come from behind to get the 5-4 win over Reynolds in a game delayed multiple times due to thunder, lightning and rain in the area.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - ON THE RUN -- Tigard's Kolby Shimojima runs the bases during the team's state tournament win over Reynolds on Sunday.Alert base-running, clutch hits, outstanding defense and a stellar relief pitching performance led Tigard to the victory.

McNamee’s 3 for 3 day at the plate included a two-out double in the fourth inning that scored Penn and Shimojima, giving the Tigard team a 5-4 lead that it would not relinquish.

Twice before McNamee’s drive to left-center, Tigard had answered Reynolds scores with runs of their own. In the bottom of the first, Tigard matched Reynolds’ two-run output with a two-out double by Jackson, plating McNamee and Shimojima.

In the third inning Reynolds pushed a run across, but Penn equaled the score by tagging up and scoring on a fly ball to short right field.

Reynolds threatened to break the game open in the top of the fourth, when they loaded the bases with no outs. At that point, Tigard manager Greg Bui called upon relief pitcher Joey Myers to get his squad out of the jam.

Myers limited the damage to one run, then pitched scoreless fifth and sixth innings to gain the win.

Tigard’s bats really came alive in Monday’s win over Wilshire-Riverside, as the team pounded out 14 hits.

Tigard scored four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to break the game DAN BROOD - LEFTY HEAT -- Tigard's Jackson Bui gets ready to fire in a pitch during the team's win over Medford.

McNamee, who went 3 for 4 for the game, highlighted the fifth inning with a towering two-run home run to straightaway center field.

McNamee was joined in the hitting column by teammates Penn, Shimojima, Brannon, Hallam, Jackson, Sean Murphy and Myers. Hallam, in relief of starting pitcher Smith, earned the win.

In Tuesday’s four-inning win over Ashland, Tigard pitchers Brannon, Shimojima, Jackson, Hallam and Jackson Bui didn’t allow a hit.

On offense, nine of Tigard’s 16 hits went for extra bases, including an inside-the-park home run by speedster Sean Murphy.

Jackson doubles and tripled and Holden Hughes belted a triple while Myers, Shimojima, McNamee and Smith all hit doubles.

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