LA GRANDE BASEBALL INCHES AWAY FROM WIN

May 13, 2003 11:00 pm
COMING TO THE PLATE: La Grande's Trent Evins pitched two innings of relief Tuesday against De Sales. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).
COMING TO THE PLATE: La Grande's Trent Evins pitched two innings of relief Tuesday against De Sales. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).

Inches separated the La Grande baseball team from possibly picking up a non-league win over De Sales at Optimist Field Tuesday.

La Grande's T.J. Frye hit a ball down the third-base line with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh. It looked like a solid hit, but the De Sales third baseman snatched it and rifled it to first base for the out.

The De Sales first baseman stretched for the ball and the game was over. Final score: De Sales 8, La Grande 6.

"If they don't pick the ball, we tie the game," La Grande coach Dennis Young said. "It's a game of inches."

Young said De Sales is a fine ball club and the Tigers bounced back from getting beat the last time they met in Walla Walla.

"I'm real pleased," he said. "They came back. They 10-runned us pretty good. I'm pretty pleased with the ball we played. They just don't give up. They give their best effort."

Early on, it looked as if the Tigers would pull out a win after a six-run first inning.

The De Sales pitchers shut out the Tigers the rest of the game.

De Sales tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the fifth off a squeeze. The go-ahead run came off a hit deep to right field later in the frame.

The Tigers used three pitchers — T.J. Frye, Shaun Cederholm and Trent Evins. Frye pitched 2 innings, giving up four hits and walking seven. Cederholm came in during the third inning and was relieved by Evins in the sixth.

De Sales threatened again with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth and one out, but Evins calmly struck out two De Sales batters to end the frame.

De Sales added to the lead with another run in the top of the seventh.

After Travis Turner grounded out to lead off the bottom of the seventh, Jeremy George hit a single that dropped between the center fielder and infielder.

Kelly Moore drove a double to deep center off a full count to advance George to third.

Brenton Dowdy was plunked on the shoulder, which loaded the bases for Evins. Frye came in to hit for Evins, sending a 1-1 pitch down the third-base line.

The Tigers resume Greater Oregon League play by hosting Vale at 1 p.m. Saturday.

De Sales 031 020 1 — 8 10 3

La Grande 600 000 0 — 6 10 1

M. Conley, Lopez and N. Richard; Frye, Cederholm (3), Evins (6) and K. Moore.

La Grande hits — Turner 2, George 2, K. Moore 2, Frye, Cederholm, D. Moore, Patrick. 2B — D. Moore, Patrick, Turner, K. Moore, Frye.