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Golfers peaking as season winds down


By Steve Tool

Wallowa County Chieftain

Published on May 15, 2018 2:10PM

Steve Tool/Chieftain
Christopher Nobles of the Wallowa Valley Eagles combined team strokes a base hit and an RBI during his team’s lopsided 14-1 win over Burns on May 8.

Steve Tool/Chieftain Christopher Nobles of the Wallowa Valley Eagles combined team strokes a base hit and an RBI during his team’s lopsided 14-1 win over Burns on May 8.

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Because of time constraints, the Chieftain did not publish the results of the May 4 Buffalo Peaks golf tournament in Union. Brycen Locke shot an 82 for first place in the boys’ slot. Boone Harrod followed with an 84 for second place. Both Zion Mark and Tyler Gray shot a 102. The team had a 370 score for second place. Gracie Carlsen shot 109 for the girls.

“I was really excited about how the team played, and it was a perfect tournament to end the regular season going into the district tournament,” Coach Kyle Crawford said.

Michael Diggins of the combined Wallowa/Joseph team shot a 106, a personal best, at the tournament.

Tori Suto of the Wallowa/Joseph combined team shot a 70 in the opening round of district and a 77 the following day to easily take first place for the ladies.

“She played really well,” said coach Marvin Gibbs. “I’m not so sure she didn’t break the district record for girls.”

Michael Diggins shot a 116 in the opening round for the boys.


The Wallowa Valley combined baseball team won four straight games over the week, knocking the stuffing out of Burns and Umatilla, respectively, in two doubleheaders. The team clinched second place in the Eastern Oregon League after taking both ends of a doubleheader from Umatilla May 12.

Wallowa Valley took on the Burns Hilanders May 8 and took a thorough beating, 4-0 and 14-1. Senior Chris Bathke pitched the first game, throwing for six innings, striking out 11 while giving up a single hit and no walks. Rylie Hayward came in for the save. The team had no errors.

Offensively, Christopher Nobles was 2 for 3 with an RBI and a double while Hayward was 1 for 2 with two RBIs. Bathke was 2 for 4 at the plate.

Coach Mark Ramsden said that Burns came in fifth in the league, and the team is always tough. Ramsden noted they came in with the best catcher in the league, who promptly threw Wallowa Valley’s first two base runners out.

“We held them to no runs,” Ramsden said. “They couldn’t stop us. We took it to their pitching staff because that’s what we had to do to knock them out of the race.”

The 14-1 second game featured strong pitching and hitting for Wallowa Valley. Hayward started in the pitching slot, going four innings, scattering eight hits while giving up a single earned run. Gus Ramsden came on in relief for the save in the fifth inning, striking out two.

Bathke led the bat squad, going 3 for 4 with a double and RBI while Ramsden was 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Nobles was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and Hayward was 3 for 3 with an RBI. Dylan Staigle had three RBIs in his 2 for 2 plate performance. Nine of the team’s 14 runs were earned.

Coach Ramsden said the Burns games led to the team’s discovery of its own power.

“They knew how good they were as a team. We’re playing on another level and want to be district champions. They won’t accept losing.”

The first game against Umatilla saw ace Bathke and freshman Trace Evans combining for a no-hitter taking in a five-inning 11-0 blowout. Bathke pitched three innings, striking out six, allowing no hits or walks while Evans allowed no hits or runs on his part while walking one. The team had one error.

Wallowa Valley had four hits and scored eight runs in the first inning on two hits. Three runs were earned with wild pitches, passed balls, steals and four Umatilla errors accounting for the rest.

“We put the ball in play a lot,” said assistant coach Geoff Hayward.

The second game was a 7-1 victory with Rylie Hayward and Gus Ramsden combining for the win. Hayward started and pitched 4 1/3 while Ramsden stepped in for the save, pitching the final 2 2/3 innings. Hayward struck out six, giving up two hits, while Ramsden struck out eight.

Offense scattered five hits with Bathke and Hayward contributing an RBI each.

Coach Ramsden said Burns used four pitchers in the game. “They couldn’t stop us,” he said. “We took it to their pitching staff.” Wallowa Valley ended the season with a 11-3 league record and 18-5 overall and ranked fifth in the state.

The team will play the winner of a May 15 playoff game between Irrigon and Vale for district May 18.


The Wallowa Valley Cubs combined team split four games for the week, crushing Burns 14-1 and 19-0 in a May 8 doubleheader. Lexie Gassett went the distance for the win in the first game while Madison Plew did the same in the second game. The first game featured Josie Scott taking her first pitch of the game over the fence for a grand slam.

The Cubs traveled to John Day for a doubleheader against fifth-ranked Grant Union May 11. The Cubs nearly stole the show, losing 9-7 after jumping out to a 6-0 lead they held until the fourth inning.

Gassett started the first game, pitching 3 2/3 innings, allowing five hits seven runs with six earned. Plew came on in relief and took the loss as the game was tied on her entrance. She pitched 2 2/3 innings giving up two hits and two runs, one earned. The Cubs committed five errors, although coach Gary Gassett said most of them didn’t do damage.

The hit squad saw Scott going 2 for 4 while Jessie Teeney was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Plew was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, including a home run.

“Their coach told me that this was the best contest they’ve had all year,” Gassett said. “We scored four runs in the first inning before they knew what happened. They were good, and I was happy with the way they played most of the game.”

The second game was a bit of letdown with the Cubs falling 11-1. Gassett attributed the loss to the energy expended in the first game. The Cubs managed three hits.

Scott was 2 for 2 with a home run while Rachel Frolander had a hit. Plew lost the second game, pitching three innings and giving up six hits and seven earned runs. Gassett came on in relief, giving up four hits and four runs with three earned.

The Cubs ended the regular season in third place with a 4-4 league record and 7-9 overall.


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