The Dr. Randol’s Crowns weren’t able to put all the key phases of baseball together on Monday at Bill Gray Stadium at Legion Field.
Dr. Randol’s gave up a pair of five-run innings to the La Grande Legacy Ford Legends and committed five errors on defense as it bowed out of the Class A American Legion state tournament with a 12-2 loss in six innings.
The Crowns (13-12) finished 1-2 in the tournament with losses to Alpenrose Dairy and La Grande and a win over Stayton.
La Grande (22-8), which lost to defending state champion North Coos 8-0 Sunday, will meet Alpenrose Dairy at 1 p.m. Tuesday, needing a win to stay alive in the tourney.
“Hat’s off to them (La Grande), they’re a good, tough team,” Dr. Randol’s coach Eric Savage said. “In a state-like atmosphere, you have to play clean baseball. You have to throw strikes and handle the baseball and when there’s people in scoring position you have to capitalize. Today we made some crucial errors.”
The Crowns, the visiting team, had a golden opportunity for a big inning in the top of the second but only came away with one run.
Troy Jones led off the inning with a double down the left field line and Dawson Gillespie had a bunt single to put runners on first and third. Tryson Melton hit a flyball that dropped in short left field for a single, scoring Jones.
Ever Lamm walked to load the bases, but La Grande starter Devin Bell worked out of the jam. The right-hander retired Tanner Lierman on a popout, got Tanner Marlin to hit into a fielder’s choice that resulted in a forceout at home and retired Kade Johnson on a flyout to center.
“Bases loaded, no outs ... then we don’t do the job,” Savage said. “It kind of deflated us a little bit.”
The Legends responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring five runs with two outs off Marlin on three hits and three walks.
Daniel Cooper stroked an RBI single to tie up the contest. Parker Robinson gave La Grande the lead for good with a three-run triple to the fence in right field to make it 4-1. Robinson came home on a wild pitch to give the Legends a four-run advantage.
“We thought we had a strike call (with two outs) and were out of the inning, but unfortunately it didn’t happen that way,” Savage said. “We didn’t stop the bleeding, and the guy (Robinson) hits the ball to the wall and clears the bases. We knew it was an uphill battle from there.”
Gillespie got one run back for the Crowns in the third, singling in CJ Gale, who just missed a home run with a double off the left field fence.
But La Grande tacked on another five-spot in the bottom half, using three hits, two walks and two Dr. Randol’s errors to break open the contest at 10-2. All of the runs came with two outs, and a fielding error by Jones, the Crowns’ shortstop, extended the inning.
Justin Frederick and Nick Bornstedt had run-scoring doubles for the Legends in the frame.
La Grande scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to end the contest early due to the 10-run rule. Wyatt Earp hit into a fielder’s choice to score Bell with the final run in the sixth.
Bornstedt finished 2-for-2, Robinson was 2-for-3 and Cooper 2-for-4 with three runs.
Gillespie and Brett Narkiewicz were each 2-for-3 for the Crowns. Marlin took the loss, allowing eight hits and 11 runs over 4 1/3 innings with one strikeout and seven walks. The right-hander threw 101 pitches before being relieved by Gillespie.
“(Marlin) kept battling,” Savage said. “He didn’t have his best stuff, but we wanted to see where it went. We went with him because he’s more unique than our other guys. I thought it was a gutty performance for only his third start on the mound.”
Savage was pleased with his team’s season. Dr. Randol’s finished second behind North Coos in the Area 4 North during the regular season.
“Overall, it was a growing year for us,” Savage said. “We’ll return a lot of those kids and I think we have a good foundation going forward. We had a good year. I think we left some on the table, but that’s baseball.”
Randol’s 011 000 — 2 8 5
La Grande 055 011 — 12 9 1
Marlin, Gillespie (5) and Dill; Bell and Jorgensen. WP — Bell. LP — Marlin. 2B — Jones (DR), Gale (DR), Frederick (L), Bornstedt (L). 3B — Robinson (L).