A WIN IS A WIN
By Pat Perkins
Observer Staff Writer
The La Grande Tigers will take a hitless two-run rally any day if it means a win.
The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday to hand Franklin its first loss of the season, 5-4.
Never mind that the tying run scored when a batter was hit by a ball with the bases loaded, or that the winning run came home on a walk. La Grande coach Dennis Young hopes the win starts a streak for his team.
That was a really outstanding effort, Young said. The kids came back after two tough losses and showed a lot of determination on their part.
La Grande lost 19-4 to Beaverton Tuesday and 10-0 to Franklin on Wednesday. The Tigers played better defense Thursday, committing only one error that had no effect on the game. Aaron Thomas pitched a solid game, giving up six hits.
That was a yeomans job, Young said. That really kept us in the ballgame.
Thomas gave up a double to Mike Aguliar in the first inning, then threw a pair of wild pitches that brought Aguliar home. Aguliar also hit a two-run home run off Thomas in the sixth inning, tying the game at 3-3.
Franklin took the lead later in the inning on Jeff Prys sacrifice fly, but Matt Lafolette was picked off at first on the same play, ending the inning.
Preston Roe led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk, and Thomas reached first after the ball got away from Franklin catcher Lafolette on a strikeout. Tanner Abel struck out, but Drew Fischer was hit in the arm to load the bases.
Andy Van Sickles ground ball forced Roe at home before Ryan Carpenters pitch hit Jason Smith in the feet, bringing home Thomas to tie the game.
Adam Kleck took a 3-1 pitch for a ball and the game-winning walk.
La Grande hit its way into a three-run inning in the second. Tanner Mellinger doubled home a pair of two-out runs and Roe singled home Mellinger.
La Grande will play a pair of games Saturday at a tournament in Boise. Vallivue is up first in the afternoon, followed by a night game against Centennial of Boise.
Franklin 100 003 0 4 7 3
La Grande 030 000 2 5 6 1
Pry, Carpenter (6) and Dodson, Lafolette (6); Thomas, Ingerson (7) and Mellinger. WP Ingerson (2-2). LP Carpenter.
La Grande hits Roe, Thomas, Abel, Van Sickle, Smith, Mellinger. 2B Van Sickle, Mellinger. RBI Roe, Smith, Mellinger 2, Kleck.