RAIN ROOFING GETS A GAME UNDER ITS BELT
By Pat Perkins
Observer Staff Writer
For the La Grande Rain Roofing American Legion baseball team, a game is a game, even if your coach is the opposing pitcher and you're playing against college veterans.
Rain Roofing won an exhibition game 10-4 Wednesday night at Optimist Field against the Eastern Oregon University Old-Timers, getting solid efforts from six different pitchers and hitting from just about everybody.
"I'm really happy with the way we swung (the bats) today, not just because I was pitching," La Grande coach Wes McAllaster said. "We were hitting some good spots. Just about everybody had some great swings."
La Grande whacked out 16 hits and scored all of its runs after the third inning. Jason Smith had three hits, and Aaron Thomas, Zack Glasser and John Schmidt each had two hits.
Thomas drove in two runs, as did Corey Royal and Schmidt.
Devron Carriere had a two-run home run in the third inning for the Eastern alumni, which got just five hits.
Royal started on the mound, but no pitcher went more than two innings. Tanner Mellinger and Dollen Stroup also pitched two innings, and Shane Slover, Glasser and Thomas also pitched an inning each.
La Grande had not played since July 16, when it split a doubleheader against Pendleton. The team starts its district tournament Friday with a noon game against Hermiston.
La Grande will play at least two games at the five-team tournament, then have a nearly three-week layoff before the start of the Northwest regional tournament at Optimist Field, Aug. 16.
McAllaster said the team would probably schedule another exhibition game during that time.
"These games are just an opportunity to play and get a home game that we haven't had," McAllaster said.
A home doubleheader last week against Pendleton was canceled, and games Monday against John Day were canceled because the John Day players are fighting forest fires.
With many of these same players, La Grande ran the table last year, winning the district, state and regional tournaments. If La Grande wins the district competition, it won't compete at the state tournament in Medford because organizers are putting their money hosting the regional tournament.
"They just know how to win," McAllaster said. "They just know that they can win and they have that confidence and their ability will allow them to get it done."
EOU Old-Timers 002 000 110 4 5 3
LG Rain Roofing 000 241 21x 10 16 3
McAllaster, Unknown and Tomasek; Royal, Mellinger (3), Stroup (5), Slover (7), Glasser (8), Thomas (9) and Slover, Stroup (7), Slover (8). WP Mellinger. LP McAllaster.
EOU hits Jederberg 2, Tomasek, Carriere 2. 2B Jederberg. HR Carriere. RBI Carriere 2. SB Tomasek.
La Grande hits Thomas 2, Stroup, Glasser 2, Mellinger, Smith 3, Davis, Royal, Slover, Watson, George, Schmidt 2. 2B Thomas, Stroup, Glasser, Smith, Royal, George. RBI Thomas 2, Glasser, Mellinger, Smith, Royal 2, Schmidt 2. SB Thomas, Davis.