MILTON-FREEWATER — Jeffrey Jones’ double in the fourth inning drove home two runs and snapped a 1-1 tie that vaulted Mac-Hi to an 8-1 non-league prep baseball victory over Weston-McEwen here Tuesday afternoon on the high school field.
The victory enabled Mac-Hi to improve its season record to 10-6 while the TigerScots slipped to 12-5. The Pioneers, 1-5 in the Greater Oregon League, travel to La Grande Saturday for another pair of league games.
W-M is at home Friday for a 3 p.m. non-league single game before traveling to Irrigon Saturday for an 11 a.m. Special District 6 twin bill. The TigerScots are 6-1 in district games.
Jones’ double gave Mac-Hi starting pitcher Saul Ortiz a little breathing room before turning the ball over to Jordan Leinbach in the fifth inning. But TigerScots coach TJ Haguewood thought the ball should have been caught for an out.
“Our outfielder ran over a little hump in the outfield and lost his balance,” Haguewood said, “There were a couple of instances in the game where we should have made plays and we didn’t.”
Mac-Hi home games are being played on the junior varsity field while renovation work is being completed at McRae/Ireland Field, where the Pioneers normally play their home games.
“There’s no doubt about it he could have tracked that ball down,” Mac-Hi coach Mike Garcia said of the misplay that led to his team’s second and third runs. “That field is horrible, and I think TJ is probably correct.”
Nevertheless, the Pioneers used the momentum to pull away with two more runs in the fifth inning and three in the sixth. Chase Copenhaver had two singles and an RBI in the sixth inning, and Dylan Schuler drilled an RBI double in the same inning.
“Mac-Hi swings it pretty well,” Haguewood said of the Pioneers. “They hit well one through nine, and they are clearly one of the best teams we have faced this season.”
Garcia was pleased with his pitchers, who were “both very effective” in scattering five TigerScots hits.
“Weston-McEwen has some good athletes who put the ball in play, and they did that yesterday,” Garcia said. “Our pitchers didn’t have a lot of strikeouts, and there were a couple of instances where they walked a couple of batters. But they found their way through those innings.”
Mac-Hi 8, Weston-McEwen 1
Weston-McEwen 001 000 0 — 1 5 1
Mac-Hi 010 223 x — 8 8 1
L. Thacker, Burke and Hall. Ortiz, Leinbach (5) and Hodgen.
Hits — W-M: C. Thacker, L. Thacker, Croswell, Pease, Burke. Mac: Schuler, Copenhaver 2, Leinbach, Hodgen, Zaragoza, Jones, Yensen.