HEPPNER? A big day for Leon Luna helped the Irrigon Knights baseball team sweep a doubleheader in Heppner.
Luna, a senior, threw a complete game on the pitchers mound in the first game, shutting out the Mustangs in a 7-0 effort before he came back with the bat in the second game. Luna doubled in two runs in extra innings to help Irrigon hang on for a 7-6 victory.
In Game 2, Irrigon (7-5, 3-2 Special District 6) and Heppner (2-8, 2-3 SD6) finished the seven regulation innings tied 5-5. Then in the top of the eighth, Wyatt Mills singled to get on out of the No. 9 spot in the Knights batting order before Eric Vera and Francisco Nunez joined him to load the bases.
A batter later, Luna doubled for his second two-bagger of the game to record his second and third RBIs. Irrigon would need both those runs when Heppner came back for one in the bottom half, though the Knights would hang on for the one-run victory.
Nunez threw the first seven innings before Marcus Savage closed the door for a save.
Heppners Jaden Orr homered in the game.
Game 1 was far more one-sided. Luna pitched to contact, striking out only one Mustang, but he limited his walks to two and got a pair of double plays behind him to help Irrigon speed through the victory.
They were contacting the ball but the defense was there helping him out, Irrigon coach Rick Gerard said.
UMATILLA 3-3, RIVERSIDE 2-6 In Umatilla, a doubleheader between Eastern Oregon League rivals Riverside and Umatilla saw more than its share of excellent pitching, but one five-run inning was enough to undo the Vikings cause and lead to a split.
Umatilla's Nick Snyder threw a complete game three-hitter in Game 1, a 3-2 victory, while striking out 10 and walking none and then freshman Cory Landon tossed five scoreless in the nightcap before things went awry. An injury in the field and a few errors got Riverside (5-5, 1-1 EOL) rolling and the Pirates would win the second game 6-3.
Defensively we were on pace for both games, Umatilla coach Allen Baker said, but offensively we were a little slow.
In fact, the Vikings (2-4, 1-1 EOL) pushed the winning run across with a little help from Riverside. Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Bryce Kennedy stole third and drew a throw to the bag from home plate. The throw sailed into left field and Kennedy ran home to score.
The Pirates Arik Corpus was the hard-luck loser in Game 1, taking the loss as pitcher. Omar Murillo was the winning pitcher of record for the second game, though. Both boys threw complete games.
The games were the league openers for each school.
RIVERSIDE 12-13, UMATILLA 7-3 In Umatilla, the Riverside pitchers struggled with their location when the school met Umatilla for a doubleheader Friday. But when the Pirates found the strike zone, good things started happening.
Riverside took both ends of the twinbill, 12-7 and 13-3, while striking out and walking tons of batters. Umatillas hitters drew 19 walks in just 12 innings. They also struck out nine times in the first game alone, though.
Our main focus is working on the pitching, Riverside coach Robin Graff said. The strikeouts are coming along but were still walking too many people.
Marissa Pratt and Zoey Chamberlain combined to pitch one-hit ball over both games for Riverside (5-9).
Umatilla, which has had no softball program in recent years, is playing as an independent this year outside of the usual confines of the Eastern Oregon League.
Riverside opens its league slate on Tuesday by traveling to Burns.
IRRIGON?6-4, ECHO 4-5 In Echo, the Irrigon Knights (7-3, 1-1 SD5)?and Echo Cougars (8-6, 1-1 SD5)?battled to a Special District 5 split to open league play on Friday.
Echo led 1-0 after one inning and Irrigon led 3-2 after the third inning in both games, but where Echo struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities in the opener, it was able to answer with runs in the night cap.
Bailey Srofe hit a RBI double in the fourth inning of Game 2 and Echo regained the lead 4-3. The teams exchanged runs in the sixth inning and Echo freshman Cheyenne Hilliard got the win in the circle.
Srofe finished 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs and Megan Bailey was also 2-for-3. Stephanie Milbrodt was 5-for-6 on the day for Echo and Alisen Neasham was 2-for-3 with three runs in the opener.
Brittany Zuercher pitched every inning of the doubleheader for Irrigon, and got some support in the form of 2-for-3 game by Karmen Garrett that included a double and an RBI.
Echo coach Amo Estrada said his team struggled to pick up signals while running the bases in Game 1, leaving five runners stranded in scoring position.
Echo will host Pilot Rock on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Irrigons next game is at home on Tuesday against Heppner at 4:30 p.m.
REDMOND Pendleton boys golf turned in another strong effort Friday in its two-day swing through central Oregon, this time in Redmond for the Ridgeview Invitational.
A day after winning the Hood River Invite as a team, led by Walker Hoolehans individual medalist effort, the Pendleton senior shot a sub-80 round to lead the Bucks in scoring. Unfortunately, a wider range of competition meant the Round-Up City boys werent coming home with a team victory.
Jesuit set the pace with a 302, leaving Pendleton off in the distance at 349. Hoolehans 79 was nine strokes back of the initial low score, a 72 from Corvallis Hogan Arey but the Bucks headed for home before all the golfers were off the links.
It was a much more difficult course, even though we were a few pin strokes better than (Thursday), Pendleton coach Nels Nelson said. The Bucks shot 359 in Hood River.
Reilly Hegarty was the next best shooter for Pendleton with an 85.
Pendleton will be at home next Thursday for a tournament at Pendleton Country Club before going to La Grande the next day.
MISSION? Nolan Nez was the only golfer to crack into the 70s on Friday at the Wildhorse Invite, and the Nixyaawii Golden Eagle won first medalist honors with his six-over-par 78.
Coves Colton DeMeerleer and Horizon Christians Austin Requa were second and third, each with 89.
Pendleton junior varsitys Martina Perez shot a 123 that was low in the girls field.
The Pendleton JV boys won the team title with a score of 409 while Cove was second with 421 and Nixyaawii was third with 423.
STANFIELD?2, IONE 1 In Ione, experience was the difference when the Ione Cardinals hosted Stanfield for a boys tennis duel on Friday. Michael Gehrke, a former state qualifier for the Tigers, helped his school to two victories and took advantage of some freshmen of Ione to do so.
That was all the Tigers would need to win the duel 2-1.
Gehrke won at the No. 1 singles spot and then paired with Saul Esquivel for the lone doubles match, another victory.
Iones Daichi Walters won one for Cardinals in singles mode for his second win of the season and his tennis career.
Weston-McEwen was initially scheduled to play in Ione as well, giving all three teams a pair of duels on the day, but the team canceled after accidentally traveling to Stanfield.
IONE?2, STANFIELD 2 In Ione, the Stanfield Tigers and Ione Cardinals tied 2-2 in a tennis duel Friday, though Ione got the bump by winning more individual games in the four-match meeting.
Larissa Jones won at Nos. 1 and 2 spot in singles action for Ione, filling in for the Cards usual top player who missed the matches Friday. She came out strong with a pair of winning performances, taking matches with 8-0 and 8-2 scores.
Yazzmin Chavez won the other singles match, getting Stanfield on the board with the 8-3 decision before Yazell Chavez and Mariela Carrillo would win the only doubles match 8-0.
Ione won just one more game, 19-18.
Track & Field
LA?GRANDE? The Mac-Hi Pioneers took a light bus to the La Grande Invitational on Friday but were still loaded up with hardware by the time they headed home.
With 13 competitors in New York City on a choir trip, the Pioneers were still able to win several medals at the small meet.
Leading the way was Kristi Childers who was first in the 100-meter dash (13.5 seconds) and long jump (15 feet, 7 inches) and second in the 100-meter hurdles (16.93). She also placed fourth in pole vault (6-0). It was the first meet Childers had competed in either long jump or pole vault.
Also winning medals for the Pioneers were Alex Saldana in second in the 400 (53.42), Tristan Warner in third in the 300 hurdles (20.75) and as a leg in both the third-place boys relay teams. Tyler Edwards also placed third in high jump (5-6), and Aaron Lefore was third in shot put (39-9) and fifth in discus (112-10). Andrew Kain was sixth in javelin (122-5) and Kitanya Crisman was sixth in the 100 (14.73).
Mac-His next meet is on Friday, April 19, at Umatilla.