April 04, 2001 11:00 pm
HOME HITTER: Tanner Abel of La Grande hit two grand slams among his four home runs Tuesday against Hermiston. (Observer file photo/PAT PERKINS).
HOME HITTER: Tanner Abel of La Grande hit two grand slams among his four home runs Tuesday against Hermiston. (Observer file photo/PAT PERKINS).

By The Observer

HERMISTON Tanner Abel was living in another world Tuesday.

La Grandes power hitter had a day that baseball players only dream of when the Tigers traveled to Hermiston for a non-league doubleheader.

Abel hit four home runs including two grand slams had 14 RBIs and went 5-for-5. All this in La Grandes 15-8 second-game win that followed the Tigers 5-2 opening-game victory.

It was a phenomenal performance, La Grande coach Dennis Young said. (Abel) carried us on his shoulders. And those four home runs were rocket shots. Two of them were easily over 400 feet.

It was remarkable to see something like that.

Abel opened the first inning of the second game with a three-run homer, followed by a grand slam in the second inning.

In the third inning, he slowed down, hitting only a two-RBI single. Then he connected for a solo home run in the fifth.

With the Tigers holding a slim 10-8 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning, Abel sealed the victory with his second grand slam of the game.

La Grande (6-6) entered the twin bill with a losing record after splitting a doubleheader with two teams in Boise Saturday, but everything was clicking against the Bulldogs.

The pitching picked up behind three players who havent seen much time on the mound.

In the opening game, Aaron Thomas went the distance and allowed only two runs on three hits with five strikeouts.

Zach Glasser, who came in relief of Adam Kleck in the second inning of the second game, came into the contest with La Grande ahead 7-5. Hermiston tied the game 7-7, but Glasser allowed only one more run the rest of the way.

We had some outstanding pitching performances, plus the Tanner Abel show, Young said.

Offensively, Glasser had three hits, including two doubles, in the opening game. Andy Van Sickle added two hits.

In the second game, Van Sickle had four hits, and Preston Roe added three hits and two steals.

La Grande travels to John Day Friday for its Greater Oregon League-opening doubleheader with undefeated Grant Union.

Grant Union really has a quality program, Young said. Well have to do everything right. Well see Friday where we stand, but I have confidence in our kids. Were ready to play.

La Grande 002 100 2 5 10 1

Hermiston 001 100 0 2 3 3

Thomas and Slover; Martinez and Hickey. WP Thomas. LP Martinez.

La Grande hits Glasser 3, Van Sickle 2, Abel, Thomas, Roe, Kleck, Slover. 2B Glasser 2. RBI Van Sickle, Glasser, Kleck, Smith.

La Grande 342 014 1 15 18 1

Hermiston 250 010 0 8 8 0

Kleck, Glasser (2) and Slover; Ayers, Skogley (3), Remirez (6) and Herriman, Hickey (4). WP Glasser. LP Skogley.

La Grande Abel 5, Van Sickle 4, Roe 3, Slover 2, Glasser 2, Thomas, Smith. 2B Van Sickle. HR Abel 4. RBI Abel 14, Roe. SB Roe 2.