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Baker girls win track title

The Baker girls track and field team completed its championship Saturday with a victory lap after claiming the Greater Oregon League district title at the BHS track.

Baker ran away from three GOL opponents by totaling 101 points. La Grande was second with 69.5.

The title was Baker’s 13th district crown since 1988.

The Bulldogs will send 10 athletes to the Class 4A state meet Friday and Saturday at the University of Oregon in 11 events.

The Baker boys finished fourth at district, but wil send five athletes to state in six events.

Baker had six girls district champions Saturday.

Haley Adams won the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches) and the javelin (106 feet, 2 inches).

Hannah Prince won the 100 (12.95) and Whitney Phillips the 400 (1:03.23).

Tori Wirth won the shot (32 feet), and Kylee Curtis the discus (96 feet, 1 inch).


Bulldogs edge La Grande for title

Baker scores winning run on passed ball in top of seventh

Ty Everson scored the wining run on a passed ball with two outs in the top of the seventh inning Wednesday to give Baker a 2-1 come-from-behind victory in a one-game Greater Oregon League baseball playoff game at Pendleton.

Trailing 1-0 entering the seventh, Baker rallied for both of its runs.

Stephen Talbot opened the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Everson then singled to put runners on first and third. Everson then promptly stole second base. Talbot scored on Matt Gorrell’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1.

Derek Blankenship then walked and stole second. An out later Everson scooted home on the passed ball.

“It was a close play,” said Baker coach Dan Blankenship. “Ty was safe, but it was close.”

Blankenship said the game was a classic.

“This is what playoff baseball is all about,” he said. “Two good teams going at it and playing well.


Baker boys golf 14th; Smith 39th

The Baker boys golf team finished 14th in the Class 4A state tournament, which ended Tuesday at Banks.

Emily Smith, the only Baker girls player to qualify, placed 39th in the girls tournament at Redmond.

Smith, a sophomore, shot a second-round 98 on Tuesday, four shots better than in Monday’s opening round.

Junior Ty Parry was Baker’s top finisher in the boys tourney, with a two-day total of 194. He finished 78th.


Bulldogs sweep Ontario to gain share of GOL championship

Baker picked the perfect time to break out of its late-season duldrums Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs (18-5 overall) needed to be at their best when they hosted Ontario in the Greater Oregon League regular-season baseball finale for both teams. On the line for the Bulldogs was a return to the Class 4A state playoffs.

Baker was faced with one of three scenarios, and chose the best by sweeping the Tigers 7-4 and 6-3 at the Baker Sports Complex.

The sweep, coupled with La Grande’s 8-2 and 11-0 sweep of Mac-Hi, left Baker and La Grande tied as GOL co-champions. Those two teams will meet Tuesday in Pendleton for a 4 p.m. seeding game at Bob White Field. The winner of that game gets the GOL No. 1 state berth and hosts Scappoose May 25. The loser of Tuesday’s game gains the No. 2 GOL berth and travels to North Marion May 25.


Baker softball sweeps Ontario, places second

Bulldogs host Sisters in Class 4A state playoffs May 25

Baker closed out its Greater Oregon League softball regular season by sweeping Ontario 6-5 and 12-3 Saturday at the Baker Sports Complex.

The sweep leaves the Bulldogs securely in second place in the GOL standings, and means Baker (16-6) will host Sisters May 25 in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Sisters is the Sky-Em second-place team. The Outlaws lost 10-2 to Marist Saturday in that league’s playoffs.

Baker won Game 1 Saturday with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

Tori Brown opened the inning with a single. Then, after two outs, Morgan Johnson hit the first pitch she saw to left field. Brown raced home and slid in under the tag for the win.


Seeing things a lot differently

The first week of May was going to be different. I just didn’t realize how different.

Two members of the Baker City Herald newsroom were going to be on vacation that week. That meant I was supposed to come in Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings to help get the paper out — something that I’m not usually a major player in doing.

I usually do that task two or three times a year, depending on vacation times. This time there was the added twist of having at least one local sports team playing every day that week, and on all but one day those events were home events.

But I soon would find out that wasn’t going to matter.

Monday began bright and early around 5 a.m. The crew that morning turned out to be myself and Chris Collins. Another reporter was out sick.


Bulldogs earn five firsts at Hermiston

HERMISTON — Baker athletes earned five firsts Thursday at the annual Hermiston Twilight track and field meet at Kennison Field.

Baker boys earned four of the firsts — Mitko Smith in the 200 (23.82), Roberto Kitch in the 400 (52.93), and Jake Eastland in the javelin (158 feet, 4 inches) and the pole vault (13 feet).

Melissa Clarke won the girls 3,000 with a time of 12:12.01.


Baker tennis sends 5 to state

A quintet of Baker tennis players qualified for the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state tournament during the Special District 5 tournament at Vale.

Courtney Petry joins Dan Sizer, Jordan Curtis, Trenton Howard and Nathan Eiselein at state.

Petry, a senior, is the lone Baker girl to advance.

Petry won her first three district matches in straight sets before coming up against her nemesis, Sarah Bond of Ontario, in the championship match.

Bond defeated Petry in two sets to win the district title.


Baker Middle School track roundup

Baker Middle School athletes set four new school records at the Baker Invitational track and field meet May 6 at Baker High School.

Nate Baeth set two of the records — in the eighth-grade boys 800 and triple jump. In the 800 Baeth was clocked in 2:22.79, breaking the old recod of 2:22.84 set by Travis Detwiler in 1997. In the triple jump, Baeth leapt 35 feet, 5 inches, to better his own mark set earlier this season.

Michelle Freese set two new girls seventh-grade marks. Freese threw the shot 34 feet, 6.5 inches to break the old record of 34 feet, 1.5 inches by Sarah Swanson in 2007. Freese also bettered the girls long jump record by seven inches. The old record was set in 1975 by Gere (Richardson) Bloom.


For Baker baseball, Saturday’s everything

Baker braced for Saturday’s crucial doubleheader against GOL rival Ontario by downing Grant Union 9-4 in a non-league game Wednesday at John Day.

The game against the Class 3A Prospectors was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed because Grant Union’s field was soggy.

Wednesday’s win, which was highlighted by Trace Richardson’s three-run homer in the seventh inning, gives the Bulldogs a measure of momentum they lacked after a disappointing split with La Grande in a doubleheader last week.

“We swung the bats pretty well,” Baker Coach Dan Blankenship said. “It was nice to see us hitting the ball hard.”

That doubleheader split left Baker and La Grande tied for second in the GOL with 6-4 records, one game behind Ontario.


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