Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald


Baker slugged 23 hits against Sweet Home Friday on the way to a 15-4, 7-6 nonleague baseball sweep of the Huskies at the Baker Sports Complex.

Baker (3-3) broke a three-game losing streak with the sweep. Sweet Home (1-7) saw its losing streak reach six games.

The offensive explosion was in contrast to Baker's efforts earlier in the week against Scappoose when the Bulldogs managed just four hits in two games.

"We swung the bats much better today," said Baker coach Dan Blankenship.

"We swung pretty well. And, except for one inning, we played pretty solid defense."

This despite playing both games in winds blowing between 20 and 30 miles an hour, with gusts even higher.

"The wind was unbelievable," Blankenship said. "But we battled through it."

Baker ripped 14 hits in the first game, including three by Kody Younger and two each by Colin Hessel, Darren Dolby and Braden Phillips.

Dolby and Younger each drove in three runs. Phillips had two triples, Younger two doubles, Mason Cline a double and Dillon Blankenship a double.

Baker also stole 14 bases in the game.

The Bulldogs took advantage of four walks, seven stolen bases and Younger's two-run single to score three runs in the first inning.

Baker added five runs in the second. Phillips led the way with an RBI triple. Cline added an RBI double, and Dolby a run-scoring single. Two more runs scored on errors.

Then, after Sweet Home cut the deficit to 8-4, Baker scored four times in the fifth.

Phillips opened the inning with his second triple. He scored on an RBI double by Younger.

Jake Grammon plated Younger with a run-scoring single. The other two runs scored on another error and a fielder's choice.

Baker ended the game in the sixth inning by 10-run rule.

A Younger double, Hessel single and Caleb Custer getting hit by a pitch loaded the bases with one out. Dolby then grounded out to drive home one run. Blankenship followed with his double to plate the final two runs.

Nate Baeth threw the first four innings for Baker to earn the win. Tyler Talbot threw two innings of relief.

The left-handed hitting Philliips slugged an opposite-field two-run home run to highlight a 5-run Baker first inning in Game 2.

Blankenship and Colten Richards each added RBI singles. The fifth run scored on a wild pitch.

Baker increased its lead to 7-1 after five innings with single tallies in the second and fifth innings.

Sweet Home then got to Blankenship, who came on in relief of Custer in the fourth, for five runs in the sixth. The Huskies banged out five hits and took advantage of a Baker error.

Cline, who had caught the enitre time in both games, then came on to relieve Blankenship in the seventh.

He got the first two Huskies to ground out. Then, after a Baker error put the tying run on third base, Cline struck out the next hitter to earn the save.

"Mason Cline came in and did a nice job in relief," Coach Blankenship said.

The Baker coach said he saw many improvements against Sweet Home.

"We just need to continue to get outside more and keep working on things," he said.

"These were nice wins for us. We needed them."

The Bulldogs open Greater Oregon League play Saturday by hosting Ontario in a doubleheader at the Sports Complex.

First game

Sweet Home 0



2 2

0 - 4

Baker 3



0 4

3 - 15

White, Gill (4) and Melcher, Gregory (4). Baeth, Talbot (5) and Cline. WP - Baeth. LP -White.

Sweet Home hits -Winslow, White, Holly, Gregory. Sweet Home RBI -Holly 2.

Baker hits -Richards, Younger 3, Hessel 2, Dolby 2, Cline, Phillips 2, Grammon, Custer, Blankenship. Baker RBI -Richards, Younger 3, Dolby 3, Cline, Phillips, Grammon, Blankenship 2.

2B -Younger 2, Cline, Blankenship. 3B -Phillips 2.

Second game

Sweet Home 1



0 0


0 - 6

Baker 5



0 1


x - 7

Hanks, Van Dusen (5) and Melcher, Gregory (5). Custer, Blankenship (4), Cline (7) and Cline, Mespelt (7). WP - Custer. LP -Hanks. S -Cline.

Sweet Home hits - A. Rice, White 2, Holly 2, Bidwell, Winslow 2, Hanks, J. Rice, Van Dusen. Visitor RBI -A. Rice, White, Holly, Winslow 2, Van Dusen.

Baker hits -Blankenship 2, Richards 2, Phillips, Hessel, Bachman, Dolby, Cline. Baker RBI -Blankenship, Richards, Phillips 2, Hessel.

2B -A. Rice, Winslow, Blankenship. HR -Phillips.