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Tribe nine plays for tournament title

Indians win two of three in games on eastern road trip
by: Brenda Lohman BIG SWING—Scappoose’s Nathan Kranyak takes a big cut during Saturday’s championship game with La Grande in the Treasure Valley Invitational in Ontario.

The Scappoose Indians finally got some real baseball dirt under their cleats last Friday and Saturday, winning their first two games of the season before barely losing at the Treasure Valley Invitational.

Tribe Coach Robert Medley was pleased with the wins, but sees a lot of room for improvement.

'It was our first game or anything on the field,' Medley said. 'We've got some bugs to work out…but it was nice to be able to play.'

Scappoose started the tournament last Friday with a 6-4 win over Vale in Fruitland, Idaho. Kody Backus pitched the first three innings for the Indians, and Will Sprute finished the game.

Medley said the team made four early errors, but got the job done in the last four innings.

He noted, 'The pitching is always ahead of the hitting early. We nickel and dimed them for six runs, but we struck out 10 times.'

That win pushed Scappoose into a game with host team Fruitland, the defending Idaho state champions and winners of three of the last four state titles.

'They're a good baseball team,' Medley said.

It was a tight game most of the way. Fruitland held a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth before Scappoose sent five runs across the plate.

'They average 9-11 runs every game so for us to hold them to two was good defense,' the coach added. Blake Updike went the distance on the mound for Scappoose and did a great job, Medley said.

That brought Scappoose up against La Grande for the championship at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario.

The game was a slugfest, back and fourth. Scappoose had their chances to win the contest, but finally found themselves losing 10-9. Kyle Kramer, Hunter Hoyt, and Will Sprute combined to handle the pitching chores.

'We made a couple mistakes and they're a good team,' Medley said. 'Our kids were excited and wanted to win. They spent it all and gave it all their efforts. They were just excited to be playing baseball. It was a great effort.'

Medley said he was happy with the way the team competed and that some of the players stepped up. He said the squad did a good job pitching. There is still work today, but getting on the field was much better than being in a batting cage.

'I was happy with the effort, happy with the trip and they all know we've got a lot of work to do,' the coach said.

The Indians were going to try and get a doubleheader in with Baker on Tuesday before their trip home. The plan was to try and play in Ontario, but move to La Grande if the weather was better there.

Scappoose is scheduled to host Philomath in a doubleheader this Friday, and Wilson in a game on Saturday. Both those games were contingent on being able to get the field prepared. Medley said a lot of fieldwork was needed and noted the weather prediction was not favorable.

Scappoose is slated to host Astoria on Tuesday, April 3 in their first league game.