SPOKANE, Wash. Though the Hodgen Red Bulls knew Fridays game was the end of the line at the Spokane Wood Bat Tournament, win or lose, the Pendleton American Legion baseball team still came out looking for the W.
The Red Bulls took out the Okotoks Baseball Academy 10-2 in a matchup of third-place teams from the pod-play seeding section of the tournament. Only the pod winners advanced to the final bracket. For the Red Bulls, who finished the Washington tournament 3-2 with the win, Fridays game marked their 12th game in 10 days.
Against the Okotoks Dawgs of Calgary, Pendleton scored twice in the bottom of the first inning and twice more in the third, aided by RBI doubles by Grant Klopmeyer and Boots Pond.
Ponds double scored a pair and the batter finished the game with three RBIs and two hits, a breakout that coach Travis Zander said he was happy to see.
Hes been taking really good swings and just missing the ball by a bit, Zander said. It was nice to see him connect.
But Okotoks responded to the 4-0 hole with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, a plot the Red Bulls have been all too familiar with this season. The team has had a tendency to relax too much after taking a lead and often gives up runs the inning after scoring.
The Red Bulls broke it open shortly after that though, scoring six of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning to shorten the game to five innings. The batters accounted for six of their 12 total hits in the inning.
On the mound, Klopmeyer threw an efficient game, needing only 64 pithes to get through all five innings.
Pendleton moved its record overall to 16-13 with the win and gets a much needed rest this weekend. The boys dont hit the diamond again until Tuesday when they travel to La Grande for a doubleheader.