The all-turf field at Sunset High School will certainly prove its value this month for the Apollos.
With many teams still unable to get onto the field for their first games of the season, the Apollos and Tigard Tigers were able to play two-and-a-half hours of tight-knit baseball on Wednesday with the only interruption coming when a Reynolds softball player homered against the Apollos on the adjoining field.
Tigard senior Conner Wojahn walked and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and picked up the win in relief as the Tigers defeated the Apollos in the season-opener for both teams.
Shut out and limited to one hit by Tigard pitchers Brett Thomas and Manny Andrade, Sunset had tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, on a two-out, two-run single over third base by Isaac Lovings on a 2-2 count. In the top of the seventh, Thomas lashed a deep shot to right field that Sunset junior Danner Wintle snared on a fine running catch near the warning track for the first out. Sunset head coach John Barnes then made a change on the mound, relieving lefty Harrison Sailor with righthander Jason Dumont. A walk to Wojahn and a wild pitch preceded an RBI single by Nick Heinke to put Tigard back on top. Later in the inning, Heinke raced home on Kameiah Korak’s two-out single to center.
In Sunset’s half of the seventh, number-nine hitter Satchel Phillips laced a ground-rule double to left to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. After a wild pitch, Phillips scored on a Tyler Sumner grounder to second. Winkle fanned looking to end the game.
Wojahn got the win despite being touched for two earned runs in an inning and a third of relief. He struck out two and walked one. Dumont was charged with the loss after allowing two walks and two hits with two strikeouts in the seventh.
Lefty Brett Thomas, a three-year starter, pitched four hitless innings with five strikeouts and one walk. He faced the minimum number of batters after a leadoff error in the first inning, pitching out of a runner at third, one-out jam in the first with back-to-back strikeouts of Sunset’s number three and four hitters.
Thomas also walked three times at the plate, factoring into two of Tigard’s runs. In the first inning, Jack Chabreck lined a one-out single up the middle off Sunset starter Dillon May. After a walk to Thomas and a wild pitch, Wojahn drove in Chabreck with a sacrifice fly.
In the sixth inning. Thomas drew a one-out walk from Sailor, followed by a single to center by Wojahn. After stealing third base, Thomas came home on Sam Nihill’s two-out RBI single.
Wojahn went 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Nihill reached base twice on walks to go with his RBI single. Three Sunset pitchers walked nine Tigard batters, while the three Tigard pitchers issued four free passes and fanned eight.
The only games played Wednesday were on all-weather turf. Westview defeated Roseburg 11-5 at Ron Tonkin Field, while next door at Hillsboro Stadium Milwaukie blanked Liberty 10-0. At West Linn, the Lions improved to 2-0 with a 3-2 win over Lincoln in what could be a preview of a late May or June playoff game. Wilsonville cruised past Silverton 12-0 in its season-opener while Sherwood went to Sandy and blanked the Pioneers 10-0 in a rematch of the 2013 5A championship game.
Tune in to KUIK 1360 tonight at 4:55 p.m. as the Jesuit Crusaders entertain the Lakeridge Pacers. Jesuit will be looking to bounce back from a 15-1 loss at West Linn Tuesday, while Lakeridge will be playing its season-opener.