A hit to remember
By Pat Perkins
Observer Staff Writer
PENDLETON Nolan Mills made his teammates happy Tuesday.
The La Grande Little League all-star had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the sixth inning of a 9-8 victory over Pilot Rock at the District 2 Boys Minors Tournament in Pendleton.
Mills grounder to shortstop was enough to score teammate Brian Mills from third base with two outs in the final frame of a back-and-forth game.
La Grande advances to a 6 p.m. Thursday game against either Ontario or Pendleton. A win in that game puts La Grande into Saturdays championship game.
Both Brian and Nolan Mills were part of a textbook sixth inning for La Grande, which had to score three runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game 8-8.
Brian Mills led off with a sharp single into left field. Woody Stockoff then bunted his first pitch right in front of the plate, a sacrifice that put Mills on second base. Jeremy Moores grounder to first base moved Mills to third base. Nolan Mills hit to shortstop was bobbled just enough to let Brian Mills score easily.
La Grande had taken a 5-3 after two innings, but Pilot Rock tied the score in the top of the fourth and took an 8-5 lead after the top of the fifth.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Moore started the rally with a walk. A single by Nolan Mills was then thrown for an error, allowing Moore to score and Mills to get to second. Kole Stein then had one of his two hits, a single that scored Mills. Kevin Boyds ground ball was misplayed, allowing Stein to score the tying run.
Boyds grounder scored Stein in the first inning for La Grandes first run. A double by Moore drove in a run in the second inning, and Stockoff, Moore and Stein also scored on a pair of Pilot Rock errors.
La Grande pitcher Zach Nice got the win, giving up five hits over six innings.
Pilot Rock 120 230 8 5 x
La Grande 140 031 9 8 x
T.Mitchell, Copeland (5) and Copeland, T.Mitchell (5); Nice and Mills, Ricker (4). WP Nice. LP Copeland.
La Grande hits Stein 2, Ricker, Boyd, B.Mills, Moore 2, N.Mills. 2B Moore.
Wallowa Valley falls
Wallowa Valley won its first game of the tournament Monday but lost to a strong Baker City team Tuesday at the district tournament.
Wallowa had few problems against Harney County, scoring eight runs in the top of the fifth inning of an 11-1 victory in the losers bracket Monday.
Baker got the best of Wallowa Valley Tuesday, winning 10-0 in five innings.
Andrew Wilson and Tyler Harshfield each had three hits for Wallowa Valley against Harney County, and Wilson, Gatlin McKenzie and Zac Courtney each had two RBIs.
Harshfield had Wallowas only hit against Baker City, and he pitched a three-hitter against Harney.
Wallowa Valley went 1-2 at the tournament for 9-10-year-old boys.
Wallowa Valley 021 08 11 11 2
Harney County 100 00 1 3 4
Harshfield and McKenzie; H.Swartzlander and C.Swartzlander. WP Harshfield. LP H.Swartzlander.
Wallowa Valley hits Wilson 3, Harshfield 3, Neil 2, McKenzie 2, Chitwood. 2B Wilson, Chitwood. RBI Wilson 2, Neil, McKenzie 2, Courtney 2, Simpson.
Wallowa Valley 000 00 0 1 5
Baker City 601 3x 10 10 2
Neil and Harshfield; Smith and Marcum. WP Smith. LP Neil.
Wallowa Valley hit Harshfield.