TIGER BASEBALL WINS THREE OF FOUR GAMES IN NAMPA
NAMPA, Idaho After one bad inning Friday, the La Grande Tigers turned around their baseball fortunes this weekend.
La Grande won three of four games at a tournament here, improving to 4-3 overall and going into the start of the Greater Oregon League season on a roll.
We had really outstanding pitching and great hitting and then we played pretty good defense, La Grande coach Dennis Young said.
La Grandes one bad inning came in its first game Friday, an 8-3 loss to Nampa. The Tigers had six errors in the second inning, leading to all eight Nampa runs all of them unearned.
Defensively, we just let it get away in that second inning, Young said. But I was really proud of how they responded.
The biggest response came in the tournaments final three games. La Grande beat Skyview of Boise 12-4 on Friday, then defeated Boise High 11-3 and Kuna, Idaho, 6-5 on Saturday.
The tournament became an offensive explosion for La Grandes first three hitters. Leadoff hitter Aaron Thomas had seven hits and No. 2 batter Jason Smith had nine hits; both had a hit in each game.
No. 3 hitter Zack Glasser was hitless in the first game but responded with 10 hits over the final 19 innings. Glasser had a home run against Skyview, a solo shot in the fourth inning that gave the Tigers a 9-2 lead. He also had two triples and drove in six runs.
Smith had three doubles, all against Skyview, and seven RBIs. Against Boise, Thomas led off the game with a home run, and Smith followed with another blast that landed in nearly the same spot beyond the left field fence that Thomas did.
Young felt the Boise game was La Grandes best offensively. The Tigers led 3-2 before breaking things open with a three-run sixth inning and a five-run seventh.
Kuna was the closest, although La Grande built a 6-1 lead. Starting pitcher Kenny Haggerty had pitched two innings Friday against Skyview and went five innings Saturday against Kuna. He gave up three runs in his final inning, the fifth, allowing Kuna to cut the lead to 6-4.
He got kind of got tired in that fifth inning, Young said.
Kyle Bomberger pitched the sixth and seventh innings and got the save.
Alex Arritola picked up the win against Skyview and Thomas pitched a five-hitter for the victory against Boise.
Thomas threw an outstanding ballgame, Young said. He had them really off balance. They really didnt put any good pressure on us.
Thomas struck out six and was helped by two double plays behind him.
La Grande turned five double plays altogether.
If we didnt have that one bad inning we could have won four games, Young said.
The Tigers get a chance for their fourth win in a row Friday in their home and league opener against Grant Union.
La Grande 000 111 0 3 5 7
Nampa 080 000 x 8 4 2
Kleck and Moore; Miller and Brooks. WP Miller. LP Kleck (0-2).
La Grande hits Thomas, Smith, Kleck, Bomberger, George. 3B Smith. RBI Smith, Searles, Bomberger. SB Thomas 2, Mellinger.
Skyview 101 011 0 4 7 2
La Grande 305 130 x 12 13 1
Brenton, Arnold (3) and Hiaring; Arritola, Haggerty (6) and Moore. WP Arritola (1-0). LP Brenton.
La Grande hits Thomas 2, Smith 3, Glasser 3, Kleck 2, Bomberger, Moore, Periman. 2B Smith 3, Kleck. 3B Glasser. HR Glasser. RBI Thomas, Smith 2, Glasser 2, Moore 2, Bomberger, Kleck. SB Thomas, Kleck, Mellinger, Searles.
La Grande 201 003 5 11 13 2
Boise 110 001 0 3 5 3
Thomas and Moore; Summers, Walker (6) and Day. WP Thomas (2-0). LP Summers.
La Grande hits Thomas 3, Smith 4, Glasser 4, Moore, Searles. 2B Searles. HR Thomas, Smith. RBI Thomas, Smith 4, Glasser 2, Kleck, Moore. SB Glasser 2, Mellinger 2, Kleck 2, Smith.
Kuna 000 131 0 5 8 2
La Grande 202 200 x 6 9 2
Haggerty, Bomberger (6) and Mellinger; Andrus and Haines. WP Haggerty (1-0). LP Andrus. Sv Bomberger (1).
La Grande hits Thomas, Smith, Glasser 3, Kleck, Bomberger, George 2. 2B Kleck. 3B Thomas, Glasser. RBI Glasser 2, Kleck, George 2, Mellinger. SB Glasser.
From Observer staff reports