The Wallowa Valley Eagles are flying high after twin home victories over Riverside May 4. The Eagles sank the Pirates’ ship with 15-0 and 9-2 shellackings.
The first game saw the Eagles come out with both blazing pitching and bats in the 4.5 inning first game. Senior fastballer and strikeout king Chris Bathke held the mound for four innings against the Pirates. Bathke held Riverside scoreless as well as nearly hitless, giving up only a single hit.
He sent eight Pirates back to the bench shaking their heads and didn’t issue a single walk. Dylan Staigle came on in the fifth for the save, pitching to only three batters.
“He’s doing good, and we’re glad to have him,” assistant coach Geoff Hayward said.
The Eagles’ offense carried out a 14 hit barrage against Pirate pitching. Bathke turned in a 4 for 4 plate performance while Rylie Hayward was 3 for 3 and knocked in three RBIs. Coy Aschenbrenner was 2 for 3 with an RBI and David Salim was 3 for 3 with an RBI. The team made only a single error.
The next game started a little slower for the Eagles. Hayward started the game and went three innings and leaving with the score tied at 2-2 although only one of the runs were earned.
The starter struck out two and allowed two hits and a walk. Gus Ramsden came on in the fourth inning in relief while earning a win. Ramsden sent 10 hitters back to the dugout while allowing no runs or hits and walked three. The Eagles committed two errors early in the game.
The bat squad stroked five hits with Bathke the only multi-hit athlete, going 2 for 3 with an RBI. Ramsden was 1 for 3 with an RBI and the Eagles were helped by five Pirate miscues.
“We came out real strong in the first game,” Coach J.R. Collier said. “We came out hitting hard and piling on offense with everyone getting into the act. Chris and Dylan held them scoreless while we piled on the offense.”
Collier said the second game wasn’t nearly as pretty.
“We won, obviously, but we started a little slower. I think they threw a better pitcher in the second game, thinking they’d steal it from us. We stayed neck and neck with them in the first few innings but finally started wearing them down and hitting.”
The coach said that the Eagles started getting on the Pirates’ starter in the fourth inning and substitutions didn’t help.
“Once we started, we got on top and won fairly easily.”
He attributed the slow start of the second game to a diminished intensity as the first game was so one-sided. He said the coaches talked to the team about keeping their focus.
The Eagles are 7-3 in league play and 14-5 overall. They hold down third place in the league and are ranked fifth in the state. They next play Umatilla May 12.