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Tigers sweep Baker baseball
By GERRY STEELE
Baker’s baseball team is going to the post season, but just doesn’t know in what capacity.
The Bulldogs (3-9 in the Greater Oregon League) finished third in the GOL after losing a doubleheader to La Grande, 13-6 and 13-3, Friday at the Baker Sports Complex.
The Bulldogs and Mac-Hi tied for third place in the standings, but Baker owns the tie-breaker over the Pioneers after defeating them three of four games during the regular season.
Under the OSAA’s basic criteria, Baker, as the third-place team would travel for a play-in game this week. But, that’s where the “basics” end.
Because of the GOL’s overall high RPI (the OSAA ranking system) all four GOL teams could advance to the post season.
If Mac-Hi’s RPI is high enough the Pioneers could gain one of the at-large berths. And, that berth could be opposite the GOL’s third-place team (Baker).
If that were to happen, Baker, by virtue of the GOL tie-breaker, could host the Pioneers in the play-in game.
Totally confused yet?
An added piece of the puzzle is that the OSAA cutoff to freeze the rankings was midnight Sunday. So no action was officially taken until the OSAA opened for business today.
This scenario came about because La Grande dominated the Bulldogs Friday.
The Tigers had 31 hits, twice as many as Baker.
In Game 1, Baker actually led 2-0 after two innings.
Braden Phillips slugged a solo home run to centerfield to lead off the second inning. Jake Grammon then walked, and two outs later scored on a double by Darren Dolby.
Baker led 3-1 after three innings after Phillips singled in Colten Richards, who had singled, in the third.
La Grande then erupted for six runs on just two hits in the fourth inning. Two Baker errors, three hit batsmen and a wild pitch contrinuted to the Tigers’ cause.
Baker added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
In the fourth, Dolby sliced a solo homer to right.
In the fifth, Mason Cline tripled and later scored on a Richards single.
In the sixth, Colin Hessel walked and later scored on a single by Sam Averett.
Averett, the first of three Baker pitchers, suffered the loss on the mound.
A trio of four-run innings was all La Grande needed to end Game 2 in five innings.
Baker scored two runs in the second inning, and one in the third.
In the second, Phillips reached base on an error and later scored on another error. Dolby added an RBI double, scoring Caleb Custer who had singled.
In the third, Baker loaded the bases on three walks. Dillon Blankenship then stole home.
Cline was the losing pitcher.
La Grande 0
Availa, Madsen (6) and Arnoldus. Averett, Baeth (4), Custer (7) and Cline. WP — Availa. LP —Averett.
La Grande hits —Jacobs 5, Chamberlain 2, Wiclander, Albrecht 2, Lankford 2, Rogers, Availa, Arnoldus. La Grande RBI —Jacobs, Albrecht 2, Lankford 4, Hively.
Baker hits —Cline 2, Phillips 2, Dolby 2, Richards 2, Averett. Baker RBI —Phillips 2, Dolby 2, Richards, Averett.
2B —Jacobs 2, Cline, Dolby. 3B —Cline. HR —Lankford, Phillips, Dolby.
La Grande 1
White, Gamball (5) and Wicklander, Arnoldus (5). Cline, Younger (3), Blankenship (5) and Richards. WP — White. LP —Cline.
La Grande hits —Jacobs 3, Lankford 2, Availa, Peasley, Wicklander 3, White, Albrecht, Chamberlain, Rogers 2, Madsen. La Grande RBI —Jacobs 2, Lankford 4, Wicklander 2, Albrecht, Rogers 2, Madsen.
Baker hits —Blankenship, Custer, Dolby, Cline 2, Richards. Baker RBI —Dolby 2.
2B —Jacobs, Lankford, Availa, Chamberlain, Rogers, Dolby. 3B —Jacobs.