East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, June 22, 2019, WEEKEND EDITION, Page B1, Image 13

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Saturday, June 22, 2019
Hodgen Distributing untouchable in day one of Baker City tourney
East Oregonian
BAKER — Hodgen Distributing’s first
day at the elkhorn Classic in Baker City was
a resounding success.
the Pendleton 17u american Legion
baseball team opened play with a 6-2 win
over Owyhee rivercats before ending things
with a 12-1 blowout against Hermiston.
“the kids stayed positive and had a good
time,” coach travis Zander said. “We didn’t
hit particularly well, but when we did, it
mattered. Our defense was solid, and our
pitchers threw great games.”
tucker Zander started the game on the
hill and got eight strikeouts over six innings,
only allowing two runs on three hits and two
walks along the way. Curtis Simons finished
the game and notched one more strikeout to
keep the rivercats down.
the rivercats held a 1-0 lead for two
innings before Simons evened it out again.
after Simons drew a walk, Colton Hender-
son singled to left field, allowing Simons to
score and put Pendleton on the board.
the rivercats put up another run in the
top of the fourth to pull ahead once more,
but Pendleton’s three-run fifth inning
ensured that wouldn’t happen again.
Kobe Fell initiated the comeback by scor-
ing on a wild pitch, and tyler Browning did
the same one at-bat later. With two outs on
the board, Jordan deGeer was driven home
on Ty Beers’ single to left field.
“Owyhee was tough,” Zander said.
“They kept us tight, but we finally got on the
board and scored a few runs.”
Simons led Pendleton, going 1-for-1 at
the plate with two runs scored.
the following game against Hermis-
ton was just as close for four innings before
Pendleton broke it open for good.
the two teams stayed tied at 0-0 until the
top of the fourth, when Pendleton drove in
four runs.
“It was close for four innings,” coach
Zander said, “but we were able to pull away.
(Hermiston) just kind of ran out of pitching.”
Hermiston responded with a run in the
See Baseball, Page B2
Bulldogs show
promise after first
year in Mid-Columbia
AP Photo/Jonathan Hayward
East Oregonian
HerMIStOn — two years ago it
was a dream.
One month ago, Hermiston High
School finished its first year in the Wash-
ington Interscholastic activities asso-
ciation and the Mid-Columbia Confer-
ence, with much success.
“Honestly, I think it went better than
most people expected,” Hermiston ath-
letic directory Larry Usher said. “I fig-
ured we would run into all kinds of
problems and headaches, and that didn’t
happen. the other ads had us prepared.”
Hermiston first approached the
WIaa in January 2017 about a possible
move to join the organization.
the school was facing the possibil-
ity of being placed in the 6a Mt. Hood
Conference for the start of the 2018-19
school year had it remained part of the
OSaa. that would have meant an esti-
mated 404-mile round trip to any sport-
ing contest.
For a three-sport athlete, that would
have equated to 40 missed days of school
because of travel — about five classes
per game day.
the OSaa wrote a letter of support
for Hermiston to explore the opportunity.
“there were seven criteria that had to
be met for this to even be considered,”
usher said. “One was having the support
from your current organization. this
absolutely would not have happened
without that.”
Hermiston became the first out-of-
state school to join the WIaa as a full
member on June 5, 2017. usher still
remembers getting the call.
“We traveled to a (WIaa) board
meeting for a presentation,” usher
recalled. “they had a very long discus-
sion after we left. they voted on it, and
we got a call later that evening that they
voted to allow us in.”
Mike Colbrese, executive director of
the WIaa, said the partnership has gone
“We have a very good relation-
ship with them,” Colbrese said. “It has
worked out really well. they always
called the office if there was a question
or they needed a clarification. Larry
won’t guess, he will call.”
Southridge ad tim Wood said his
initial reaction of the request was that
Hermiston should join the MCC.
“It’s what’s best for the students,”
Wood said. “teachers and students were
missing classes, and the transportation
costs were high. We had their backs.”
A penny saved
the move to the WIaa and MCC
Jack Hughes, center, poses for photos after
being selected by the New Jersey Devils with
the first pick in the NHL hockey draft on Fri-
day in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Devils select U.S.
center Hughes
with 1st pick in
NHL draft
AP Hockey Writer
Staff photo by E.J. Harris, File
Hermiston’s Ryne Andreason shoots the ball guarded by Kennewick’s Tyler Pearson
in the Bulldogs’ 86-75 loss to the Lions on February 15, 2019, in Hermiston.
saved the Hermiston School district tens
of thousands of dollars just in one year.
Usher said the final numbers have not
yet been tallied, but the extra money was
put to good use.
“We don’t have our final bill for trans-
portation, but it’s fair to say it will be
much less than in the past,” usher said.
“We were able to redirect funds to add
girls slow pitch softball, bowling, and
wrestling. It’s an opportunity to get more
kids involved.”
With the addition of Hermiston, the
MCC swelled to nine schools, eliminat-
ing the need for the Bulldogs to have to
fill 10 to 15 nonleague basketball, base-
ball or softball games.
“a lot of times, we had overnight
tournaments or single games in the Port-
land or eugene area,” usher said. “now,
we just have a couple of nonleague dates
to fill.”
Part of the extra money also has gone
to pay coaches who were volunteering
their time, or getting a small stipend
from the booster club.
“We have the opportunity to add
funds to those programs,” usher said.
“Some of the coaches were getting paid
by the booster club, and now that frees
up that money for other projects.”
With most of the MCC teams less
than an hour away, their fans travel well,
which meant increased revenue at the
box office.
“I haven’t looked at all the data, but
we definitely had more fans in the seats,”
usher said. “a lot of people said we trav-
eled well.”
A whole new world
Hermiston knew a jump to the MCC
would come at a cost. the Bulldogs
were moving into a highly competitive
See WIAA, Page B2
VanCOuVer, British Columbia —
american center Jack Hughes and Finland’s
Kaapo Kakko being selected with the first
two picks in the nHL draft was hardly a
the new Jersey devils opened the draft
Friday by making Hughes the eighth amer-
ican chosen with the no. 1 pick. and the
new york rangers, as expected, selected
Kakko, the top-ranked european prospect.
It’s the unpredictability that followed that
provided the intrigue.
Steve yzerman began placing his stamp
on the red Wings upon his return to detroit
as general manager. He selected German
defenseman Moritz Seider with the sixth
pick ahead of a number of players who
were ranked much higher by nHL’s Central
Scouting Bureau.
two Swedish defensemen were selected
among the top 11 players with Philip
Broberg chosen by edmonton, and the ari-
zona Coyotes giving up a second-round pick
to Philadelphia in trading up three spots to
select Victor Soderstrom at 11.
and the Florida Panthers, at 13, bucked
a recent trend by making american Spen-
cer Knight just the third goalie chosen in the
first round over the past seven years.
Hughes was the top-ranked north amer-
ican skater and became the first American to
go first since 2016, when the Toronto Maple
Leafs chose auston Matthews.
From Orlando, Florida, the 5-foot-10,
170-pound play-making center was the top-
ranked north american prospect. He had 74
goals and 154 assists to set the uSa Hockey
national team development Program’s two-
year record with 228 points in 110 games.
“Obviously, Kaapo Kakko had a great
year ... but I was pretty confident and pretty
calm, cool collected through the whole pro-
cess,” said Hughes, who had a lengthy din-
ner with devils GM ray Shero during the
pre-draft combine in Buffalo this month.
“I’ve said this like eight times already,
but I’m pumped to be a devil and I’m
so excited.”