The La Grande Tigers baseball team opened the 2019 season by going 2-1 at the Bill Betts Invitational in Fruitland, Idaho, shutting out New Plymouth, Idaho, 10-0 and Vale 14-0 Friday before falling to Fruitland, 13-5, on Saturday.
La Grande 10,
New Plymouth 0
In the opener Friday, Isaac Zamora threw a no-hitter and struck out nine batters while also driving in two runs for the Tigers. Only one New Plymouth batter reached base against Zamora in the five-inning contest.
Parker Robinson also drove in two runs, with his first-inning RBI triple and second-inning RBI double helping La Grande take a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers added six runs in the third on just two hits, taking advantage of five hit batters and three walks. Two of the walks and two hit batters came with the bases loaded to force in runs.
Robinson, Devin Bell and Justin Frederick all had two hits, and Bell scored a team-best three runs.
La Grande 14, Vale 0
The Tigers followed with a rout of the Vikings, scoring seven runs through two innings before adding on seven more runs in the fourth. Bell drove in three runs, and Casey Cornford, Wyatt Earp, Danny Chamberlain and Justin Comfort all had two RBIs. Brody Kincade’s RBI single started the first-inning scoring and Bell’s sacrifice fly capped it for a 5-0 lead. The lead reached 7-0 before back-to-back two-run doubles by Comfort and Bell made the score 11-0 in the fourth. Cornford’s RBI single capped the scoring.
Robinson and Riley Miller combined to strike out 10 batters in five innings and allowed just five hits between them for La Grande.
La Grande 5
The Tigers surrendered a four-run lead in their final game against Fruitland as the Grizzlies scored 13 straight runs to break the game open. The Tigers, though, were their own worst enemy in the game, committing eight errors and walking eight batters. Eight of Fruitland runs were unearned.
A two-run single by Robinson and a Kyler Malone RBI single gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead in the second, but Fruitland responded with six runs in the bottom of the second, taking the lead for good when an error allowed two runs to score for a 6-4 lead. The margin reached as much as 13-4 in the sixth inning.
Earp allowed six runs — all unearned — on two hits in two innings to take the loss.
La Grande (2-1 overall) travels to Pendleton Thursday.