La Grande’s Jon Gonzalez slides safely into second base during the first inning of the Mud Dogs’ 14-1 victory over the Milton-Freewater Blazers Monday at Pioneer Park. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
La Grande 16-and-under squad finishes with doubleheader sweep
The first inning of the opening game of La Grande’s doubleheader against Milton-Freewater Monday was literally a walk in the park.
In a half inning that took over 40 minutes to complete, the Mud Dogs scored nine runs, four of which came off walks with an additional two coming off wild pitches. As a result, the Mud Dogs only needed five innings to defeat the Blazers by a 14-1 margin in the first game. La Grande completed the sweep with a 9-3 win in the nightcap.
Only two of the runs the Mud Dogs scored in the opening game were earned after Chance Goodman hit a two-run single to give the Mud Dogs a 5-1 lead.
“I was a little surprised to see us score nine runs in that first inning,” head coach Parker McKinley said. “It’s one of those things where they dug themselves into a hole, and set the momentum for the game. We stayed focused, continued to battle, and set ourselves up well.”
In the bottom of the second inning, the Mud Dogs tacked on another four runs. Jon Gonzalez celebrated his birthday with a RBI single that sent Jake Workinger home to get the scoring started. A pair of Milton-Freewater errors also led to Brandon Cederholm and Gonzalez scoring to put La Grande up 13-1.
Milton-Freewater walked the Mud Dogs 16 times in the first game, while giving up six hits and three errors. Although the Mud Dogs went untested in the first game, McKinley said he was happy with the patience his players showed.
“It was an unfortunate situation for their pitching staff,” McKinley said. “They were inconsistent, but we did a good job of not chasing balls that were out of the zone. We had good swings when we saw good pitches.”
For the full story, see Wednesday's issue of The Observer