August 10, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

PORTLAND La Grande Rain Roofing brought its hot bats to the state tournament.

The American Legion baseball team cranked out 20 hits Friday in a 15-8 victory over Canby, and that came on top of a 13-hit showing in Thursdays win over Sherwood.

Rain Roofing is now one win away from the Class A championship game but another strong team stands in the way. Ashland, todays opponent, has a 19-0 win over David Douglas and a 17-5 victory over McKay under its belt.

We will need to have our A game tonight, La Grande manager Dave Mellinger said. Theyve been crushing people.

La Grande plays Ashland at 7 p.m. at David Douglas High School. The winner plays in the championship game at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

We need to stay hot offensively. It seems like weve been getting the big hits at the right times, La Grande coach Wes McAllaster said.

Drew Fischer had four hits for La Grande, including a three-run home run in the sixth inning. Fischer now has six hits in the tournament and 59 on the season. His three RBIs gave him a team-leading 45.

Drew Fischer just crushed the ball yesterday, McAllaster said. The home run was probably 350 feet out on the football field. Hes having a phenomenal summer.

Fischer wasnt the only Rain Roofing player to rack up the hits. Tanner Abel had three and Zach Glasser, Dollen Stroup, Ty Mellinger, Jason Smith and Corey Royal each had two.

Mellinger had four RBIs that included a pair of sacrifice flies in the third and fifth innings.

The game was tied 5-5 when La Grande erupted for five runs in the sixth. Royal and Glasser had singles before Fischers blast to left field. Stroup doubled and scored on a Mellinger double, and Smiths single scored Mellinger.

La Grande added three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth. In the eighth, Adam Klecks pinch-hit double scored Abel and Stroup. In the ninth, a sacrifice fly by Abel scored Glasser and a single by Mellinger scored Fischer.

Royal got his fifth victory against three losses this season by spreading out 11 singles and six walks over nine innings while striking out eight.

Hes getting better and better. Theres just a couple of innings where he loses control a little bit, but he kept battling back, McAllaster said. The times they scored was a walk, a walk, then a couple of hits.

In the first inning, Fischer stole home when the catchers throw went to second trying to get Abel on a stolen base.

Three Canby errors in the fifth inning contributed to two of La Grandes three runs.

LG Rain Roofing 101 035 032 15 20 1

Canby 000 320 030 8 11 4

Royal and Slover; Lockwood, Sharbanota (9) and Colvin. WP Royal (5-3). LP Lockwood.

La Grande hits Glasser 2, Fischer 4, Abel 3, Stroup 2, Mellinger 2, Thomas, Smith 2, Kleck, Slover, Royal 2. 2B Fischer 2, Abel, Stroup 2, Mellinger, Kleck. HR Fischer (7). RBI Fischer 3, Mellinger 4, Kleck 2, Smith. SB Glasser, Fischer 2, Abel.