IMBLER SPLITS DOUBLEHEADER; WALLOWA BEATS LA GRANDE JV
If Imbler's John McKinnis was nervous before pitching Friday against Pine Eagle, at least he had a familiar face staring back at him in the form of catcher Alan O'Donald.
A familiar face, albeit, that had never caught a game before, but a familiar one all the same.
"I'd never pitched a full game before," said McKinnis after striking out eight Spartans in a 5-4 win. "I've always been a two-inning guy."
"I've never caught before," said O'Donald after hitting the game-winning RBI, a double, in the bottom of the sixth. "At least not in high school."
After dropping the first game of the season-opening double header, 8-1, Imbler bounced back with the 5-4 nightcap victory.
In the second game, Imbler's Greg Crater singled in O'Donald to make the score 1-1 in the first inning.
Tied at 3-3 going into the bottom of the sixth, Tanner McIntosh led off the inning with a triple against the wall in deep left field before O'Donald smacked a double to the same spot to score McIntosh.
O'Donald later scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-3.
"We've changed our batting order up a little bit to where now I'm behind Tanner," O'Donald said. "I guess they expect me to hit him in every now and then."
Freshman Taylor McIntosh went 3-for-4 in the second game, hitting three singles.
"Late in the game I wasn't worried about if (Pine Eagle) would hit the ball or not," McKinnis said. "I knew my outfield and infield would take care of me."
Imbler was without three starters for the doubleheader, all of whom were attending a Future Farmers of America event.
"There were some of our best kids missing tonight and we haven't had a whole lot of practice yet," Imbler head coach Monty McIntosh said. "But that's no excuse, we still want to play to win."
Imbler (1-1) returns to action March 28, traveling to play Baker High School.
Pine Eagle 8, Imbler 1
P. Eagle 000 000 0 8 10 0
Imbler 200 010 1 1 2 0
Wickham and Kennedy; Tan. McIntosh and Noyes.
Imbler 5, Pine Eagle 4
P. Eagle 110 100 1 4 7 0
Imbler 111 002 x 5 11 4
Marks and Kennedy; McKinnis and O'Donald.
2B O'Donald. 3B McIntosh. RBI Crater, O'Donald.
Wallowa wins against La Grande JV
In a game called on account of darkness, Wallowa beat the La Grande Junior Varsity, 9-7, in six innings.
Wallowa trailed 7-3 after four innings.
"The kids were competitive." Wallowa head coach Warren Wilson said. "What's nice about it is for both teams they get to play against another team after practicing against each other for so long."
It was the season opener for both teams.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Kaleb Oveson opened up the scoring after an RBI single by Jeremy McCulloch.
A Brandon Mahon single scored Mitchell Shelton and a Ryan Harshfield single drove in Mahon.
A Kasey McKenzie single then scored Harshfield.
Adam Evans picked up the win for Wallowa.
Wallowa next plays April 1 against Imbler in La Grande.
Wallowa 9, La Grande JV 7
LHS JV 102 400 7 6 4
Wallowa 110 16x 9 9 3
Nice, Carmichael (3), Holman (5) and Tao; Harshfield, Delatori (4), Evans (4) and T. Shelton.
2B La Grande: Hudson, Holman. Wallowa: Mahon. 3B Wallowa: Long. RBI La Grande: Hudson, Childs 2, Holman 2. Wallowa: Long, McKenzie, McCulloch, T. Shelton, Mahon.