July 15, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

BAKER CITY La Grande is playing its best American Legion baseball of the summer.

For the second straight weekend, Rain Roofing sported a 4-1 record at a tournament. On Sunday, La Grande captured third-place honors at the Baker City Tournament.

Once again, as in Hermiston last week, the two-hour game limit had an influence on where La Grande finished. Instead of helping, like it did last week when Rain Roofing (13-8) won the Hermiston Tournament, the two-hour limit may have cost La Grande the championship.

Barlow of Gresham handed Rain Roofing its only loss, beating La Grande 11-10 in a shortened six-inning affair Saturday due to the time limit.

La Grande crushed Sisters 21-1 in a Saturday-morning contest that was ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

The tournament concluded Sunday with a 10-1 win over Jerome, Idaho.

Against Jerome, Drew Fischer helped get La Grande going early with a first-inning double, followed by Tanner Abels one-run single. Abel would score on a passed ball for a 2-0 lead.

Abel added a solo home run in the fourth inning and Jason Smith had a two-run homer later that same inning.

Ty Mellinger hit a two-run single during a four-run sixth inning.

The win over Sisters was an offensive showcase for La Grande, starting with a seven-run first inning.

Smith hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a double in the first inning, a solo home run in the second, a single in the third and a triple in the fifth. He also had two RBIs.

Glasser went 4-for-5 with four RBIs and a home run. Aaron Thomas went 3-for-5, Abel was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Mellinger was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Shane Slover was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

The loss to Barlow came against one of the premier pitchers in the tournament.

Barlows Mike Ekstrom allowed only two hits and struck out five batters in the first four innings.

Rain Roofing finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning after trailing 11-0. La Grande scored 10 runs on eight hits and two errors, featuring a Dollen Stroup grand slam and two-run singles from Fischer and Smith.

The game was cut short and ended in the the sixth inning due to the two-hour time limit.

La Grande hosts Baker City for a nine-inning contest Thursday.

Sundays games

Jerome, Idaho 000 100 0 1 3 0

La Grande 200 314 x 10 9 2

Tilley, Kulm (6), Burk (6) and Thebault; Thomas, Royal (5) and Slover. WP Thomas. LP Tilley.

La Grande hits Fischer 2, Abel 2, Stroup 2, Mellinger, Thomas, Smith. 2B Fischer, Abel, Stroup. HR Abel, Smith. RBI Abel 2, Mellinger 2, Stroup 2, Smith 2, Thomas. SB Thomas.

Saturdays games

La Grande 716 61 21 21 0

Sisters 000 01 1 3 2

Thomas, Mellinger (3) and Slover; Sisters battery unavailable. WP Thomas.

La Grande hits Glasser 4, Smith 4, Abel 3, Thomas 3, Mellinger 2, Fischer 2, Slover 2, Kleck. 2B Abel, Thomas, Smith, Slover. 3B Fischer, Smith. HR Glasser, Mellinger, Smith. RBI Glasser 4, Fischer 3, Mellinger 3, Abel 2, Smith 2, Slover 2, Kleck, Thomas, Stroup, George. SB Smith.

Barlow 000 0(10)0 10 10 1

La Grande 200 630 11 11 2

Ekstrom and Donochue; Royal, Kleck (5 ) and Slover. WP Ekstrom. LP Royal.

La Grande hits Fischer 3, Stroup 2, Abel, Mellinger, Thomas, Smith, Slover. 2B Stroup. HR Stroup. RBI Stroup 4, Fischer 2, Smith 2, Thomas. SB Thomas 2.