UNION GAP - The LaSalle Lightning claimed a pair of Greater Columbia 'B' League victories over Mabton this past Saturday, 11-1 and 27-4.
In the opening game, as has been the case several times this season, Mabton gave up a big first inning to its opponents. LaSalle scored six runs in the opening frame.
"We seem to have trouble in that first inning," said Mabton Coach Kerry Snodgrass.
This time around, the Lightning took advantage of three walks, issued by starting hurler Tommy Bonewell, to score the six first inning runs. Bonewell settled down after that, blanking LaSalle in the second and third innings and giving up just one run in the fourth. Javier Galvan replaced Bonewell on the mound in the fifth, yielding a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth frames.
"Get rid of that first inning, and it could have been a lot closer," said Snodgrass.
The Vikings plated their lone run in the top of the first. Marcos Zepeda, who went 2-for-3 in the opener with a double in the fourth, singled his way aboard to start the first inning rally. Following a fly ball out, Galvan reached base on an error off the glove of the LaSalle shortstop, which allowed Zepeda to move to third. Alex Balli then cracked a grounder to short, and it too was misplayed, letting Zepeda skip home with the run. The two errors in the inning by the Lightning shortstop were the only miscues for LaSalle in the opening game.
LaSalle pitcher Mike Pleger went the distance for the Lightning in the first contest. He allowed just four hits.
Pleger's twin brother, Seth, worked the mound for the first three innings of the twin bill finale, picking up the victory. Pleger and two relief pitchers combined to limit Mabton to seven hits in the nightcap.
The Lightning pushed 14 runs across the plate in the bottom of the first, following up that outburst with six runs in the second frame and another five in the third inning. LaSalle banged out 16 hits off of four Mabton pitchers in the second contest.
The Vikes tallied a lone run in the top of the third and scored three more in the fifth. The three fifth inning runs were the result of a leadoff single by Robert Marquez, back-to-back RBI triples off the bats of Ray Elizondo and James Magana, and an RBI single by Galvan.
No Viking batter came through with more than one hit in the nightcap.
Mabton (2-4, 2-6) is scheduled to host Granger for a non-league game this coming Tuesday at 1 p.m. The Vikings will then be out of action until April 14, when they host LaSalle for a non-league game.