By JAYSON JACOBY
Baker City Herald
So much for the home wind advantage.
The Team Rudi Diamondbacks, Baker's American Legion baseball team, suffered its first loss of the season Monday due in part to the gusts that buffeted the Sports Complex.
One such ill-timed gust assisted on one of the two home runs that keyed Hermiston's 4-3 win in the second game of the doubleheader.
Baker had won the opener 12-7 to boost its season record to 7-0.
andquot;It was a good ballgame for us,andquot; Baker Coach Dan Blankenship said of the second game. andquot;It's good for us to be in some close games, to see how we handle it.andquot;
The wind didn't conspire against Baker the entire afternoon, either.
The Diamondbacks slugged four home runs, three of them in the first game.
andquot;We swung the bats pretty well,andquot; Blankenship said. andquot;In the second game when we hit the ball hard we hit it right at someone.andquot;
In the opener, Baker took a 6-2 lead after two innings, but Hermiston scored three runs off Baker starter Ty Everson in the third to close the gap to 6-5.
Hermiston scored twice more in the top of the fifth to take a 7-6 lead. Baker tied the score with a single run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Diamondbacks took control with a five-run sixth inning, scoring all five runs with two outs.
After two walks, Everson got a hit to load the bases. Jon Woolard then drove in two runs with a double, and Trace Richardson hit an RBI single.
Baker scored its final two runs in more painful fashion.
Brandon Dolby and Grant Marcum each andquot;droveandquot; in a run by getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Marcum had earlier plated three runs by more conventional means a pair of home runs.
Woolard drove in four runs on two hits, including a home run. Derek Blankenship hit a two-run double.
Jordan Harlow held Hermiston scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings to earn the win.
In the nightcap, Baker starter Cole Brown scattered six hits over six innings.
Two of those were home runs in the decisive fifth inning, when Hermiston scored three runs to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.
Baker scored a single run in the bottom of the fifth, but couldn't get anything going in the sixth or seventh.
Everson had two hits, including a solo homer, to lead Baker's offense.
Dolby had an RBI triple, and Trace Richardson drove in Baker's other run on a fielder's choice in the second inning.
The Diamondbacks will travel to La Grande on Wednesday for a single 9-inning game starting at 5 p.m.
Hermiston 2 0 3 0 2 0 0 7
Baker 4 2 0 0 1 5 x 12
Everson, Harlow (6) and Marcum. WP - Harlow.
Baker hits - Marcum 3, Brown, Blankenship, Everson 2, Woolard 2, Richardson 2, Barr.
Baker RBI - Woolard 4, Marcum 4, Blankenship 2, Richardson, Dolby.
Hermiston 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 4
Baker 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 3
Brown, Blankenship (7) and Marcum. LP - Brown.
Baker hits - Everson 2, Harlow, Dolby, Lay, Woolard, Brown
Baker RBI - Dolby, Everson, Richardson.