May 28, 2001 11:00 pm
GOING HOME: Preston Roe scored on Aaron Thomas' fourth-inning triple here to give La Grande a 4-2 lead. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).
GOING HOME: Preston Roe scored on Aaron Thomas' fourth-inning triple here to give La Grande a 4-2 lead. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

Glide had the golden bats Monday afternoon and slid past La Grande into the state quarterfinals of the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 3A State Baseball Championships.

Behind a pair of late-inning, three-run home runs, the Wildcats beat the hosting Tigers 8-6 and will host La Grandes Greater Oregon League rival, Grant Union, in a semifinals game Wednesday.

The loss ended La Grandes season at 17-12 and stopped a four-game winning streak.

The kids hit the ball pretty well; we just fell short a little bit, La Grande coach Dennis Young said.

Glide hit the ball better, especially after the third inning when it trailed 5-2. Tiger pitcher Kyle Ingerson had yielded just two hits in the first three innings and retired six batters in a row going into the fourth. Glide proceeded to get six hits off him in the next three innings, including home runs by John Jefferson in the fifth and Taylor Skinner in the sixth.

Skinner led off the fifth with a double, and La Grande third baseman Drew Fischer threw past first on a grounder by Jared Glasser that put runners on first and third. Ingerson almost got out of the jam by getting a ground out and a short fly ball to center field, but Jefferson hit a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence to tie the game 5-5.

The sixth was almost a repeat of the fifth. Jed Capouch led off with a double, one of his four hits on the day, and when catcher Shane Slover dropped a pop up in fair territory, Glide had runners on first and second.

Slover caught a bunt attempt for the first out, but Skinner chased Ingerson from the game with a blast over the left-center field wall.

Glide scored first on a Jefferson double and a Tiger error in the first inning, but the Tigers bounced back with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Preston Roe reached first on an error, stole second and scored on Tanner Abels single. A double by Fischer sent Abel to third, and Abel scored on Andy Van Sickles sacrifice fly.

In the second, Adam Kleck reached base on an error and scored on Tanner Mellingers double.

Glides Murphy drove in a run in the top of the fourth, but the Tigers routed pitcher Ross Good from the game in their half of the frame with a two-out rally.

After Roe was hit by a pitch, Thomas drove him home with a triple to right center field. Abel followed with a bloop single over shortstop that scored Thomas, and Fischer finished the rally with a ground-rule double that rolled under the center field fence. Abel was placed on third, but had the ball stayed fair he would have scored.

Jefferson replaced Good on the mound and gave up only a pair of walks in the sixth, when Abels ground ball scored Mellinger.

Abel went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Fischer went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

The loss ended La Grandes season later than some may have expected. The Tigers needed to sweep a league doubleheader against McLoughlin just to make the playoffs. Then they traveled to Milwaukie and beat LaSalle 11-4 in 90-degree heat before turning around to face Siuslaw in Florence last weekend, winning 8-6.

We competed and played well, Young said. We probably werent expected to do what weve done. As they get some time and perspective on this, theyll see what a fine job theyve done.

Glide 100 133 0 8 10 3

La Grande 210 201 0 6 7 3

Good, Jefferson (4) and Capouch; Ingerson, Thomas (6) and Slover. WP Jefferson. LP Ingerson (8-4).

Glide hits Desbiens, Jefferson 3, Capouch 4, Skinner 2. 2B Jefferson, Capouch 2, Skinner. HR Jefferson, Skinner. RBI Jefferson 3, Skinner 3, Murphy. SB J.Glasser.

La Grande hits Thomas, Abel 2, Fischer 2, Smith, Mellinger. 2B Fischer 2, Smith, Mellinger. RBI Thomas, Abel 3, Mellinger, Van Sickle. SB Roe.