By GERRY STEELE
Of the Baker City Herald
Baker opened defense of its Greater Oregon League baseball title Monday with a 6-0, 7-2 doubleheader sweep of Vale at the Baker Sports Complex.
In the opener, Luke Palmer struck out 11 Vikings while firing a three-hitter. Palmer did not walk a batter.
In the second game, Wes Cooke overcame some wildness to gain the win.
Luke threw real well in the first game, said Baker coach Alan McCauley. And, although Wes walked quite a few batters, he threw well too.
McCauley said he wasnt totally pleased with the Bulldogs offense in the sweep.
I thought we let both of their pitchers off the hook a little bit, he said. Vales an improved team.
McCauley added that catcher Greg Goodenough had a great game in both games. Goodenough had four hits and two RBIs in the twinbill.
In the first game, Palmers RBI double in the bottom of the first inning was all the runs the Bulldogs would need.
Brian Baker added an RBI double, and Goodenough a run-scoring single in the third inning.
Dan Justus slugged a two-run home run, and Palmer added an RBI triple in a three-run fourth inning.
In the second game, Baker spotted Vale a 1-0 lead in the first, before scoring twice in the bottom of the inning.
Steve Valentines RBI single in the second boosted Bakers lead to 3-1. Pat Taylor added a run-scoring double in the third.
The Bulldogs scored three runs in the fifth, two coming with the bases loaded when Justus and Valentine were hit by pitches.
Baker hosts Payette, Idaho, in a non-league game today at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs return to GOL action Friday with a doubleheader at Ontario. That twinbill will start at 2 p.m. MDT instead of the 3 p.m. MDT originally scheduled.
Baker athletic director John Birkmaier said the starting time for the Bulldogs May 4 games at Riverside also has changed to 2 p.m.
Vale 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Baker 1 0 2 3 0 0 x 6
Brown and Cockeram. Palmer and Goodenough. WP Palmer. LP Brown.
Vale hits Shira 2, Noland. Baker hits Valentine, Baker, Palmer 2, Goodenough 2, Justus.
Vale RBI none. Baker RBI Baker, Palmer 2, Justus 2, Goodenough.
2B Baker, Palmer. 3B Palmer. HR Justus.
Vale 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2
Baker 2 1 1 0 3 0 x 7
Amick and Cockeram. Cooke and Goodenough. WP Cooke. LP Amick.
Vale hits Shafer, Brown 2, Amick 2, Cockeram, Williams. Baker hits Valentine, Baker, Palmer 2, Goodenough 2, Taylor, Boyer, Merritt.
Vale RBI Brown, Amick. Baker RBI Valentine 2, Palmer, Goodenough, Taylor 2, Justus.
2B Brown, Baker, Goodenough, Taylor.