Legends blitz Blazers in doubleheader sweep
The McDonald’s/Legacy Ford Legends made short work of a doubleheader with the Milton-Freewater Blazers Tuesday, sweeping the visitors with lopsided wins that improved their season record to 11-1.
The Blazers fell behind early in the first game, before losing 11-1 in the sixth inning because of the 10-run rule.
The second game was a little different.
After letting Milton-Freewater jump out to a 2-0 lead, the Legends scored the next eight runs on the way to a 13-3 victory Tuesday at Optimist Field.
The two wins mean the Legends will take a seven-game winning streak to Walla Walla Friday afternoon when they play the Merchants in a doubleheader.
It was the Walla Walla squad that handed the Legends a narrow one-run loss at home — their only loss a week earlier at Optimist Field
According to Legends coach Parker McKinley, the players are looking forward going to Walla Walla and want to sweep the Merchants this time.
The Legends will host a team from Meridian, Idaho, Saturday at 1 p.m. at Optimist Field.
Milton-Freewater pitcher Justin Burke held the Legends scoreless for the first two innings in the opener, but in the third, he was tagged for three hits, five runs and beaned Tyson Wicklander with a pitch that forced in a run.
It also put Wicklander on the bench for the rest of the night.
The Blazers rallied with two hits off La Grande starter Kaleb White and scored one run on a double-steal play with two outs.
Chase Copenhaver stole second, then after the throw to second, the Blazers’ Jared Crosswell made the dash from third.
The throw made it back to the catcher in time, but Crosswell was safe.
That was the only time the Blazers would score in the the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Legends would score again.
After Mitch Workinger got a walk and Brandon Cedarholm singled, then Drew Hively smacked a double that scored Workinger.
That ended Burke’s stay on the mound for Milton-Freewater as coach Mike Garcia brought Saul Ortiz in relief to stop the Legend batters.
But the plan didn’t work as Eli Wisdom scored two more runs with a one-out single, increasing the
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Childs scored another run on a throwing error, giving the Legends a 9-1 lead.
But it was in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Legends ended the game early after Workinger’s hit to right field scored two for a 10-run lead.
In the second game, pitcher Garrett Avila struggled early, surrendering two runs in the first inning.
“Every once in a while, it takes Garrett a little while to get dialed in,” coach McKinley said.
“But when he gets going, he can be pretty tough.”
Avila also had a new catcher to work with behind the plate. Kurt Boyd replaced Wicklander behind the plate.
Wicklander was benched after being hit in the neck and helmet by a pitch in the first game.
“Kurt had never caught Garrett before and that can be kind of tough. He’s got a pretty sharp breaking pitch,” McKinley said.
“Once those two got more comfortable together, Garrett started doing a good job.”
Avila settled down as the Legends came back to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
The Legends scored three more runs in the bottom of the third to take a 6-2 lead, two more runs in the fourth and five in the fifth to end the game with a 13-3 decision.
Ahead 8-3, the Legends got some help from the Blazers when Workinger got a walk and later scored on a throwing error to first.
The Legends loaded the bases, then got a two-run double from Avila, making the score 11-3.
After a walk loaded the bases again, Jake Chamberlain was hit by a pitch to bring in another score.
It was Trenton Powers’ bases-loaded hit that iced the win.