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LA GRANDE’S KALEB WHITE pitched seven innings and struck out seven in the Tigers’ 3-1 victory over Ontario Saturday. CASEY KELLAS / The Observer
La Grande was able to slow down a streaking Ontario team Saturday at Optimist Field. LHS managed a split with the visiting Tigers, falling in the opener 9-4 before bouncing back with a 3-1 victory in Game 2.
Ontario had won 10 straight games coming in Saturday and had a perfect 8-0 mark in the Greater Oregon League. With the split, La Grande improves to 5-5 and OHS sits at 9-1.
Game 1 started out looking like a slug fest, as Ontario struck for four runs in the top of the first only to see LHS respond with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
But La Grande cooled off after that, scoring just one more run in the fourth, while Ontario hit for one in the third, three in the fourth and one in the sixth to pull out the win.
Garret Avila had a pair of RBIs, while Hayden Albrecht and Erik Jacobs both drove in one run. Jake Chamberlain had the lone extra-base hit for LHS with a double.
La Grande had a field day on the base paths, as Jacobs, Logan Lankford and Brandon Hively all had two stolen bases, while Tyson Wicklander had one.
Avila took the loss, striking out three in three innings. Zayne Sather was credited with the win for Ontario. Brady Baker and Gabe Grove each drove in two runs.
But the host Tigers were able to swell the red-hot visitors in Game 2, in large part to a solid outing by starting pitcher Kaleb White.
After giving up an early run in the first inning, White was able to settle down and blank OHS the rest of the way. He went seven innings, struck out seven and allowed four hits.
The LHS offense, meanwhile, was able to get two runs in the bottom of the first and another in the sixth to help lift White to victory.
Jordan Rogers, Albrecht and Derrick Peasley all had RBIs for La Grande. Albrecht also had a double.
Tanner Alexander took the loss for Ontario, going six innings and striking out seven.
LHS has two league games remaining with Baker Friday, while Ontario has McLoughlin left to play.
The Pioneers and Bulldogs split this weekend.
La Grande will return to the field Tuesday when it plays host to DeSales (Wash.) for a non-league game starting at 4 p.m.