WALLOWA VALLEY BOYS ERUPT TO GO 2-0

July 11, 2003 12:00 am
IT'S BELTED: Wallowa Valley's Jake Redfield smacks a base hit in his team's slugfest victory over the Snake River Valley Americans Thursday. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).
IT'S BELTED: Wallowa Valley's Jake Redfield smacks a base hit in his team's slugfest victory over the Snake River Valley Americans Thursday. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).

The Wallowa Valley 13- 15-year-old Babe Ruth baseball boys found themselves on a wild roller coaster ride of a game Thursday against the Snake River Valley Americans.

The ride ended with the Wallowa boys coasting gently to a stop with a 14-8 win. Wallowa scored seven runs in the sixth inning to finally take command of this back-and-forth game.

The win leaves Wallowa at 2-0 in the District 3 Tournament.

Meanwhile, the Union County 13- 15-year-old boys had their second heartbreaker of the tournament late Thursday night. Union County had a lead going into the sixth inning against the Snake River Valley Nationals, but gave up eight runs in the sixth en route to an 11-7 loss.

The SRV Nationals had five hits and Union County committed three errors in that inning.

Brett Hedden had two RBIs for Union County, while Ryan Caldwell was 2-for-4 at the plate and Mike Nichols scored two runs. Vance Kern and Luke Hines each hit doubles.

Wallowa Valley got ahead 4-0 in its game, but then fell behind 5-4 and 8-5.

In the fifth, Wallowa Valley cut the lead to 8-7, thanks in part to a perfectly placed suicide squeeze by Luke Survis.

In the sixth, Jeffrey Long gave Wallowa Valley back the lead when he golfed a two-run double into the gap. It was just the beginning of the rally, as Wallowa Valley strung hit after hit together to score five more runs.

Konia Delatori pitched a solid four innings to close out the game.

Wallowa Valley has scored 31 runs in its first two games of the tournament. Manager Dick Johnson said his team has some things it needs to work on, but has one big advantage other teams are struggling with.

"We got lots of speed," he said.

Johnson said the good hitting seems to be contagious, and that his players picked it up after losing a big lead and falling behind by three runs.

"We had a few heads hanging. When someone gets a nice rip, everyone gets up," he said.

Union County will look to get on the winning track against hot-hitting Wallowa Valley at 8 p.m. today at Optimist Field.

The tournament for 14-year-olds also starts today, with the Union County boys taking on Snake River Valley at 5 p.m.

— Pierre LaBossire