A score of 65-0 is a brutal beating in football. In baseball, it's dowright unfathomable. Yet, in a regular-season finale between two Oregon high school baseball teams with vastly different legacies, it happened.
After eight seasons without a baseball program, a group of Prairie City (Ore.) High students approached basketball coach Mark Woodbury about starting a team this spring, according to The Oregonian. Unfortunately, that meant three dates with defending Class 1A-2A state champion Grant Union.
After Grant Union handed Prairie City a 40-0 no-hit loss and a 22-1 defeat earlier this season, the two teams met one final time on Friday. The Prospectors finished 35-of-55 at the plate with 23 walks, 13 hit batsman and six others reaching safely on errors in a 65-0 blowout that lasted just five innings.
Grant Union sent 16 different hitters to the plate, including a number of junior varsity players, did not steal a base and used five different pitchers in a one-hit effort from the mound. The Prospectors scored 10, 31, 10, three and 11 runs in the five innings, including a 6-for-6, nine-RBI effort from junior Lane Williams.
While the immediate reaction to the blowout victory was highly critical of Grant Union's perceived "running up the score," Woodbury wrote an email to The Oregonian supporting a respectful foe.
“I want everyone to know that Grant Union was not running up the score on us,” Woodbury wrote, describing his fledgling squad as "a high school Little League team" for a school with 46 enrolled students whose most experienced players were girls with some summer softball in their past. “Me and my coaching staff hold nothing but the utmost respect for Grant Union and their coaching staff.”
Prairie City lost all 17 of its games by an average of 23.3 runs, including a margin of 127-1 against Grant Union, but the Panthers left their first season back on the diamond with the respect of their opponents.
“We tried everything possible to keep the score down,” Delaney told the Blue Mountain Eagle. “I’ve got to give Prairie City credit, Mark Woodbury and their coaching staff are going in the right direction. Their players were learning baseball and having fun, and that says a lot for a team.”
Opponents on the opposite sides of a 65-0 blowout aren't always so respectful, especially in football.