Baker baseball divides pair
By GERRY STEELE
Baker’s baseball team has one task in front of it, beat La Grande twice Friday at the Baker Sports Complex.
The Bulldogs curently sit in third place in the Greater Oregon League standings, tied with Mac-Hi at 3-7. That’s after the teams split Saturday at the Complex. Baker lost the first game 6-5 but rebounded to take the second game 10-4.
La Grande currently sits in second place in the GOL race with a 5-5 recoed after splitting with Ontario Saturday. Baker has lost twice to La Grande earlier. A Baker sweep would tie the teams for second, and force a one-game playoff for seeding.
Baker also holds the tie-breaker with Mac-Hi, but if Mac-Hi wins one game with Ontario next weekend, and Baker doesn’t win the Bulldogs could face elimination from the playoffs.
“We have to beat La Grande twice. That’s all that matters,” said Baker coach Dan Blankenship.
Saturday, Baker played like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Mr. Hyde showed up in the first game. The Bulldogs had their opportunities, but a half-dozen baserunning errors cut them short.
Game 2 saw the Bulldogs play a better all-around game.
“It was like night and day,” Blankenship said.
“In the second game we had a lot mmore hits, didn’t issue as many walks and had about six less baserunning mistakes.”
And, Dillon Blankenship pitched a complete-game eight-hitter for the Bulldogs.
“We got a good quality start out of Dillon,” the Baker coach said.
Game 2 was tied 3-3 in the top of the third inning.
Baker scored all three of its runs in the first inning. Blankenship had a sacrifice fly, Colten Richards an RBI double, and Jake Grammon an RBI single.
Baker took the lead for good in the third on Darren Dolby’s RBI single.
The Bulldogs then added three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.
In the fourth, Braden Phillips and Grammon hit back-to-back RBI triples. Blankenship added a run-scoring double.
In the fifth, Blankenship had a two-run double, then later scored on an error.
Mac-Hi scored the winning run in the top of the seventh in Game 1 on a hit, two sacrifices and a wild pitch.
Richards led Baker with three hits, including a double and triple, and three RBIs.
Caleb Custer was the losing pitcher in relief of Sam Averett.
Averett, Custer (4) and Cline. LP —Custer.
Baker hits —Cline 2, Richards 3, Grammon 3, Dolby, Talbot 2, Blankenship. Baker RBI —Richards 3, Dolby, Talbot.
2B —Cline, Richards, Blankenship. 3B —Richards.
Blankenship and Richards. WP — Blankenship.
Baker hits —Cline, Blankenship 2, Richards, Grammon 2, Dolby 2, Averett 2, Phillips 2. Baker RBI —Blankenship 4, Grammon 2, Dolby, Phillips.
2B —Cline, Blankenship 2, Richards, Dolby, Averett, Phillips. 3B —Grammon, Phillips.