PENDLETON — The Pendleton Bucks went undefeated in Intermountain Conference play and finished 15-3 overall. Those accomplishments don’t happen without good players.
Pendleton sophomore Payton Lambert was named co-Player of the Year in the IMC with Hood River Valley’s Mason Spellecy, and Kyle Field was the Pitcher of the Year as the Bucks dominated the conference voting. Pendleton’s TJ Haguewood was named Coach of the Year.
“We had a good team with guys who work hard and do good things,” Haguewood said. “They are solid baseball players. Regardless of where they are on the all-league team, they just want to play. We are lucky to have the players we have. I can’t be more proud of them.”
Joining Lambert and Field on the first team were first baseman Ty Beers, infielder Tucker Zander, outfielder Collin Primus and designated hitter Easton Corey. Field also earned first-team honors as an infielder.
On the second team, the Bucks had Blake Swanson at outfield and Jack Lieuallen as a pitcher.
Over the course of 18 games, Lambert hit .509 with 11 singles, 13 doubles, one triple and three home runs. He also drove in 22 runs and scored 30 times. He had a team-high 28 hits.
In the field, he had just five errors and was a part of four double plays.
“He’s our leadoff hitter,” Haguewood said. “He’s the catalyst of making things go. He is such a special talent. To be MVP as a sophomore is not easy. The other coaches realize what a talent he is. It’s well deserved.”
Lambert also has been invited to try out for the Area Code Games on July 1 at University of Oregon.
Field, who signed to pitch at Community Colleges of Spokane, threw 27⅓ innings over six starts, finishing with a 4-0 record. He had an ERA of 2.56, with 10 earned runs while striking out 36 and walked just four.
At the plate, Field hit .327, with five doubles and 14 RBIs. As a third baseman, he had just two errors.
“It’s a well-deserved reward,” Haguewood said. “He worked hard to get back to where he is comfortable. He struggled last summer, but he had a heck of a year. He is a gamer.”
The Bucks capped off the year with their third consecutive IMC district title.
“This has been a stressful year,” Haguewood said. “To finish on top has been a bonus. These kids had online school, baseball was at the end of football. Their hard work and focus has paid dividends.”