SPOKANE — Pendleton’s 17U Hodgen Distributing placed sixth out of 32 teams at Spokane’s summer ball tournament this weekend.
The team won two back-to-back games on Saturday morning, but fell to Bellingham 5-0 on Sunday to close the tournament.
Saturday morning opened with an easy win against the Saskatoon Diamondbacks in which Pendleton stayed ahead from inning one.
Ty Beers singled for an RBI, and he and Curtis Simons scored on two wild pitches to put Pendleton up 3-0. The Diamondbacks rallied back with two runs in the top of the fourth, but the comeback would fall just short.
Beers hit another RBI single to left field, and Pendleton drew two walks in the bottom of the sixth that drove in their final two runs. Beers led the offense with his 2-for-4 showing at the plate.
The team would face some tougher pitching in game two, however, as The Dalles held them to just two runs to barely escape with a second win.
Pitcher Michael Armstrong struck out five and let go of just three hits as Pendleton only managed runs in the second and fifth innings.
Both teams ended the game with four hits each, but thanks to Tucker Zander, who fanned three Dalles batters, the Hustlers never posted a single run. Cooper Roberts, who batted 2-for-3, and Michael Flores were the only two Pendleton runners to cross home plate.
Not a single Pendleton batter would score a run in Sunday’s tournament closer against Bellingham. Beers, who spent the first five innings on Pendleton’s mound, gave up three runs on three hits and four walks as Bellingham took control early on.
Although Beers got four strikeouts, it wasn’t enough to contain their opponents. Bryan Ebe got Bellingham going in the bottom of the first, leading off with a solo homer over the left field fence.
After the sixth-place win, Hodgen Distributing (16-15-1) is back in action today for a college showcase in Centralia, Wash. The showcase runs until Sunday, July 14.
Pendleton’s 16U baseball team finished the Spokane-hosted tourney with another win and two losses.
Saturday began with a heartbreaker against the Meridian Rangers, who overcame a late 6-4 deficit in the top of the sixth to ultimately take Pendleton down 7-6.
Pendleton held an early 5-4 lead by the third inning, and Blane Peal’s double in the bottom of the fifth broadened that advantage with another RBI. But Pendleton watched as the game quickly slipped out of reach as Meridian’s Austin Fehlman singled on a 2-2 count in the top of the sixth, driving in a pair of runs.
But the Diamondjaxx found redemption in the following contest against the Tehama Bulls with a 9-3 victory.
Firing up the offense right out the gate, Pendleton drove in three runs in the top of the first. With the bases loaded, Jack Monkman’s ground ball scored an RBI, and two subsequent walks gave Pendleton a 3-0 lead that Tehama could never overcome.
Payton Lambert sent a fly ball to center field in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs. Monkman hit another RBI single later on to cap off Pendleton’s second three-run inning of the game.
Kobe Fell had two runs and an RBI to lead the Diamondjaxx against the Bulls, and Monkman went 2-for-5 at bat and posted another run and two RBIs.
Peal had a perfect 4-for-4 showing at the plate, and chipped in another three runs. He also struck out six Bulls, giving up six hits and three walks.
The momentum wouldn’t last, however, as the Diamondjaxx wrapped the tournament up with a 9-1 loss to the Washington-based Asotin legion team on Sunday morning.
Pendleton’s lone run came in the top of the fourth when Lambert doubled and crossed home two at-bats later.
Asotin’s Jon Bean was relentless on the mound, striking out ten over six innings, allowing only one run.
The Diamondjaxx (14-11) return home today with a doubleheader against Irrigon. First pitch is at 5 p.m. at Bob White Field.