RAIN ROOFING KEEPS WINNING

August 19, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

POWELL, Wyo. Seven is La Grandes lucky number heading into todays semifinal game at the Northwest Class A American Legion Regional Baseball Tournament.

Rain Roofing won its third straight contest at regionals Sunday in seven innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. The victim this time was the Burlington Red Sox, Washingtons No. 2 seed, which La Grande beat 15-5.

On Saturday, La Grande (29-9) easily put away Powell, the host team and Wyomings state champ, 10-1.

La Grande will play the Bitterroot Red Sox, Montanas state champ, at 6:05 PDT tonight in the double-elimination tournament. Rain Roofing has won 14 straight and 25 of its last 28 games.

It doesnt seem real, La Grande coach Wes McAllaster said. You read about the (Seattle) Mariners this year and the (New York) Yankees a few years ago and its like that. We just show up and find a way to win. Everything seems to fall into place.

That was the case Sunday as La Grande had to come from behind for the first time in the tournament.

Burlington went ahead 4-2 before Rain Roofing exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning.

Aaron Thomas led off the frame with a walk, followed by a Jason Smith hit-and-run single that moved Thomas at third base.

After a Burlington pitching change, Shane Slover walked to load the bases and Adam Kleck hit a one-run single. Thomas then scored on a wild pitch.

Singles from Zach Glasser and Tanner Abel scored runs, along with a Drew Fischer ground out. Dollen Stroup walked, Ty Mellinger hit a one-run single, and Stroup scored on another wild pitch, giving La Grande a 9-4 lead.

After the third inning, we were down 4-2 and we came together. I told the kids we were all right and said to believe in what got us here, which is swinging the bats.

La Grande added three runs in the sixth and seventh innings.

Mellinger nailed a bases-loaded two-run double and Smith drove in a run in the sixth.

With two outs in the seventh, Stroup hit a one-run single and Thomas ended the game with a two-run single.

Corey Royal, who won the first game of the tournament, came in relief of Kleck in the fifth inning and shut down Burlington, striking out four and allowing no hits.

Adam wasnt throwing like he had been in his two outings at state. He kept getting behind (in the count), McAllaster said.

A one-out solo home run in the top of the fifth, followed by three straight walks, led to Royals appearance. Royal struck out the final two Burlington batters with the bases loaded.

On Saturday, Jimmie Baynes pitched a one-hit, one-run contest while striking out nine Powell batters.

Once again, La Grande jumped out quick, scoring three runs in the first inning behind an Abel one-run sacrifice fly, a Mellinger one-run single and a Thomas one-run double.

Rain Roofing put the game away in the fifth. Ahead 4-0, La Grande received one-run singles from Stroup and Slover, a solo home run from Abel and Stroup scoring on an error.

It was neat because Powell was the host team and there was between 1,200 and 1,500 people (attending), McAllaster said. It was exciting for our kids to experience.

The early lead also helped set the tone. It relaxed us, McAllaster said. When weve been winning, we take a lead and it puts more pressure on the other team.

Sundays game

Burlington, Wash. 112 010 0 5 8 2

La Grande 110 703 3 15 13 0

Jensen, Fine (4), Rhone (7) and Miller; Kleck, Royal (5) and Slover. WP Kleck. LP Jensen.

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

Saturdays game

Powell, Wyo. 000 000 1 1 1 5

La Grande 300 141 2 11 10 0

Meeker and Showalter, Schorb (2); Baynes and Slover. WP Baynes. LP Meeker.

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