May 19, 2002 11:00 pm

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

The Nyssa Bulldogs took their time waking up Saturday.

The Bulldogs trailed 5-3 to the Union Bobcats midway through their Wapiti League district baseball playoff game at Eastern Oregon University's Snowflake Field. It took an eight-run fifth inning to lift Nyssa to a 12-5 victory and put the Bulldogs into a first-round playoff game Wednesday at home.

Two plays in the fifth inning set the tone. First, a ground ball by Travis Sapp was misplayed for an error, allowing Roger Manley to score and cutting Union's lead to 5-4. Instead of a runner on third base with two outs, Nyssa (20-7) had a runner on first with one out.

Dearl Kite followed with a single that scored Sapp. After the second out and an Aaron Escobedo single that scored Kite, Juan Gonzalez laid down a perfect bunt that kept the inning alive.

Cody Waldo singled home a run. Joe Cummings doubled home two runs. Manley came up again and tripled home Cummings; Manley scored later in the inning.

Union's Mike Maley led off the game with a home run to left field. Lucas Maples singled, Shae Prince was hit by a pitch and Matt Fiorito singled home Maples. Prince scored on an error to make the score 3-0.

Union (9-10) added a run in the fourth on Maples' run-scoring double, and another in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk by Rudy Turner.

Nyssa's Manley scored in the first inning on a Union error. A double by Fehlman and a single from Waldo drove home a pair of runs in the fourth inning.

Fehlman also drove in a run in the sixth with his second double of the game.

Manley had three hits, while Kite, Fehlman, Waldo and Cummings each had two hits.

Maples had three hits for Union, while Maley, Fiorito and Jeremy Shankel had two hits apiece.

Nyssa will open the playoffs at home at 4:30 p.m. MDT Wednesday against Salem Academy.

Union 300 110 0 — 5 10 3

Nyssa 100 281 x —12 14 4

Prince, Maples (5) and Maples, Prince (5); Manley, Kite (5) and Cummings. WP — Kite. LP — Prince.

Union hits — Maley 2, Maples 3, Prince, Fiorito 2, Shankel 2. 2B — Maples. HR — Maley. RBI — Maley, Maples, Fiorito.

Nyssa hits — Manley 3, Sapp, Kite 2, Fehlman 2, Escobedo, Gonzalez, Waldo 2, Cummings 2. 2B — Fehlman 2, Cummings. 3B — Manley. RBI — Manley, Sapp, Kite, Fehlman 2, Escobedo, Waldo 2, Cummings 2.