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La Grande’s Tanner Stremcha tries to slide around Roseburg shortstop Kody Matthews during the Tigers’ 8-7 loss Wednesday at Optimist Field. Casey Kellas/The Observer
by Casey Kellas/The Observer
The La Grande baseball team went toe-to-toe with the seventh-ranked 6A team in the state Wednesday.
But in the end, the Tigers (4-3) came up just short of a win, falling to visiting Roseburg 8-7 in eight innings.
“You’re playing against a powerhouse in Roseburg, it hurts when you get down 5-0. You have to dig yourself out of a hole,” LHS assistant coach Darwin Roberts said.
“But they competed really well. They didn’t roll over, didn’t quit. So, we’re pretty happy and proud of that.”
The Tigers fell into a 5-0 deficit after giving up four runs in the first and one in the second on just one Roseburg (8-1) hit.
But the Tigers rallied with a three-run second inning before adding two runs in the third and two in the fourth to lead 7-5.
LHS was one out away from securing the win in the seventh inning when the Indians put together a rally.
An RBI double by Cody Bassett cut the lead to 7-6, before a hard chopper to third base that Jake Chamberlain couldn’t field allowed David Irvine to score to tie the game.
Then in the eighth, Tristan Guillen hit a one-out triple, followed by an RBI single by Cody Walker that gave Roseburg the lead back.
The Tigers got one runner on in the bottom of the eighth, but failed to get him home.
Josh Gambill finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Trenton Powers drove in two runs. Chamberlain scored a pair of runs.
“We’ve been working real hard this week swinging the bats, getting the kids a lot of ABs,” Roberts said after the Tigers outhit Roseburg 12-7. “They’re hitting the ball like they’re supposed to. We had a lot of good, timely hits.”
After starter Garret Avila struggled with control in the first inning — walking five and hitting two batters — Mitch Workinger and Kaleb White were able to quiet the Roseburg lineup.
Workinger went 2-1/3 innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts.
The lefty White went three innings, allowing two hits and three strikeouts.
“Mitch and Kaleb did a great job,” Roberts said.
For Roseburg, Guillen finished 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Walker was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
Brady Haskett got the win, going two innings in relief of Brady Fuller.
La Grande will return to action Thursday when they travel to Pendleton for a non-league game.
The Tigers’ next home game is April 6 for a doubleheader with McLoughlin.