The Grant Union/Prairie City Prospector baseball team kept their bats busy during spring break, hosting a total of seven teams in two tournaments at the Seventh Street Complex.
Prospector head coach Doug Sharp said they played a tough schedule in both tournaments.
Grant Union had two wins and two losses at the Iron Triangle Tournament March 21-23 and one win and two losses at the Les Schwab Tournament March 28-30.
“Only one of the games we played was a team not ranked in the top 10 in both the 3A and 2A/1A classifications,” Sharp said.
The Prospectors are in the 2A/1A Special District 7.
In the Iron Triangle tourney, Grant Union beat Santiam Christian 11-1 and Western Christian 6-3 on March 22. They fell 15-7 to Homedale, Idaho, on March 21 and 5-1 to Nestucca on March 23.
The Prospectors dominated Neah-Kah-Nie 15-3 on Friday after falling to Umpqua Valley Christian/Melrose Christian 8-0 on Thursday at the Les Schwab tourney. Grant Union fell 15-9 to Rainier on Saturday — the Columbians ranked No. 2 among OSAA’s 3A teams.
Sharp said, in the games they lost, his team gave up multiple runs in one inning.
“Most games are won or lost by these big innings,” he said. “What usually happens in those innings is a combination of walks and errors. You definitely can’t give good teams extra outs.”
Grant Union currently has a 3-6 record, but the losses didn’t hurt their ranking as the team sits at No. 9 in the OSAA standings.
Sharp said it was a great experience for his team.
“Our goal now is to take care of business in league,” he said.
The Prospectors hit the road Saturday for a doubleheader, facing the Dufur/South Wasco Rangers at noon and 2 p.m. in Dufur.
Sharp said their goal is to win league and finish in the top six in the rankings.
Those teams in the top six get a first-round bye this year, he said.
Sharp said he’s confident in his top pitchers, junior Warner Robertson and freshman Mason Morris with junior Logan McCluskey as top reliever.
“When we have our No. 1 and No. 2 pitching, then I think we will match up well with anyone in the state at our level,” the coach said.
In the tournaments with multiple games, they throw in more pitchers to keep up with the pitch count rules.
Sharp said the leadership he’s seeing from his team has been outstanding.
“We have a great bunch of boys playing this year,” he said. “There were times our play was a bit rough, but the boys continued to play hard and with class.”
“They are a fun team to watch,” he added. “I hope everyone in the community can find the time to get down to the fields and support them.”
The Prospectors have their next home doubleheader at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, when they host the Weston-McEwen TigerScots.