Vale advances to district play after win over Nyssa, losses to Stanfield/Echo

Nyssa’s Jakon Hernandez slides into second base under the tag of Vale’s Jarad Fulwyler during the matchup between the Bulldogs and Vikings. Vale advances to the district playoffs while the Bulldogs prepare for next season. (The Enterprise/John L. Braese)

VALE – As the end of the regular season wound down, the Nyssa and Vale baseball teams took different paths.

The Vikings are in the district playoffs, looking for a state berth. The Bulldogs finish a season with only a single win for the year, looking to next year.

The two teams met on Tuesday, May 8 in Nyssa. Using a three-run homer in the first inning by Kade Haueter, the Vikings went on to a 10-3 victory.

“We left 12 men on base for the game, but still had some great at bats,” said Vale coach Rick Yraguen. “It was a great win to set us up for Stanfield on Friday.”

The Vikings used three pitchers in the game, Keegan Mizuta, Colton Kesey and Haueter.

Elijah Cleaver took the loss for the Bulldogs, pitching 6.1 innings, picking up 8 strikeouts.

The going was tougher for Vale as the Vikings dropped two games to the league leading Stanfield/Echo team on Friday.

Game one went the way of Stanfield/Echo, 6-2 before the bats came alive for both teams in game two. Stanfield/Echo was able to outslug the Vikings in a 18-14 win.

“In game one, we just could not get anything going against their pitcher,” Yraguen said. “He is very good. We only could generate two hits.”

In game two, Vale fell behind early, attempting to come back twice in the game.

“We just couldn’t get close enough,” said Yraguen.

Vale fans did see three home runs in game two. Karson Brown drove in two runs with one over the fence in the second inning and Mizuta had a grand slam in the fourth inning. Matt McBride hit a two-run shot in the seventh inning.

“It was tough to lose both game,” said Yraguen. “That knocked us into third place in the league standings.”

As the Vikings were battling Stanfield/Echo, Nyssa was in Burns to take on the Hilanders.

With the Hilanders scoring 8 runs in the second inning, game one was called in the fifth inning as the Bulldogs fell, 12-2.

In game two, the Hilanders jumped out early again, scoring 4 runs in the first inning. The Bulldog defense came alive and both teams went scoreless until the sixth inning as Nyssa came through with two runs. In the end, Nyssa fell 5-2.

The Bulldogs end the season with a 1-13 Eastern Oregon League record and an overall record of 1-25.

The Vikings are in the playoffs, scheduled to host Irrigon on Tuesday. Due to press time, results were unavailable. 

The winner of the Vale/Irrigon game would travel to Stanfield for the remainder of the tournament. The loser of the Vale/Irrigon game goes home, waiting for the state brackets to appear and hope for an at-