STATE TOURNEY BOUND
By The Observer
HERMISTON A pair of weekend wins over Baker put La Grande Rain Roofing into this weeks A state tournament for American Legion baseball.
Rain Roofing defeated the Baker Diamondbacks 3-1 Saturday, then repeated the feat with a 10-4 win Sunday in the championship game of the American Legion A Zone 1 East District Tournament.
Yesterday was probably the best game weve played all year, La Grande coach Wes McAllaster said this morning. Yesterday we just played the game. We just found a way to get it done.
La Grande (21-9) will play Sherwood, the Metro second seed, at 3 or 3:30 p.m. Thursday at David Douglas High School in Portland.
La Grandes Legion baseball team has not been to a state tournament since 1991.
La Grandes Tanner Abel had a two-run home run Saturday, his ninth of the season, and Ty Mellinger had three RBIs in Sundays win.
Abel drove in all of Rain Roofings runs Saturday. His double scored Zach Glasser in the third inning, and his home run came two batters after Glasser doubled to lead off the fifth.
Corey Royal pitched a two-hitter for his fourth win of the season. A leadoff walk in the third inning came back to haunt him when Luke Palmer hit a one-out sacrifice fly to center field that tied the game.
He just got in a couple of big jams but got a double play ball to get out of one inning, McAllaster said.
Royal struck out four and retired the last nine batters he faced, improving his record to 4-3. Abel was 2-for-3 and Glasser was 2-for-4 at the plate.
Five Baker errors doomed the Diamondbacks in the second game. Thirteen Rain Roofing hits didnt help. La Grande scored in every inning it played.
A sacrifice fly by Dollen Stroup and a two-run single by Ty Mellinger gave La Grande a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Three Baker errors in the second inning allowed Glasser to score, and Abels double scored Drew Fischer.
Glasser drove in Shane Slover with a single in the third. Two runs in the fourth came off a Mellinger sacrifice fly and an Aaron Thomas double. Adam Kleck scored the fifth innings run on another Baker error. Thomas scored the sixth innings run.
Offensively, everybodys kind of getting it done right now, McAllaster said.
Thomas went the distance on the mound, giving up 11 hits and four walks and striking out three. He improved to 4-1.
We got very good pitching, great pitching, McAllaster said.
LG Rain Roofing 001 020 0 3 5 0
Baker Diamondbacks 001 000 0 1 2 2
Royal and Slover; Cooke and Goodenough. WP Royal (4-3). LP Cooke.
La Grande hits Glasser 2, Fischer, Abel 2. 2B Glasser. HR Abel (9). RBI Abel 3. SB Stroup, Thomas.
Baker Diamondbacks 100 002 1 4 11 5
LG Rain Roofing 321 211 x 10 13 1
Boyer, Riggs (3) and Goodenough; Thomas and Slover. WP Thomas (4-1). LP Boyer.
La Grande hits Glasser 2, Fischer 3, Abel 2, Mellinger, Smith 2, Thomas 3. 2B Abel 2, Smith. RBI Glasser, Abel, Stroup, Mellinger 3, Thomas. SB Glasser, Fischer, Thomas 2.