Pendleton may have split their season-closing doubleheader at Redmond, but one important fact remains the same: the Bucks are still locked in as the Intermountain Conference’s No. 1 team, and will advance into next week’s 5A state tournament.

On Friday, the Buckaroos claimed the opener 6-1, but fell 5-1 in their final contest of the regular season.

They’ll host a state playoff game next week, with an opponent to be determined. Meanwhile, Redmond has dropped out of the running for the state title.

“The wind was blowing hard,” said Pendleton coach TJ Haguewood. “It was a tough day to hit the baseball. The wind would hang it up in the air and guys could just run right under it to grab it. It was a frustrating day offensively for the guys.”

Pendleton’s Ty Beers doubled on a 1-1 count in the top of the third inning, driving in Matthew Demianew and Gabe Umbarger for a 2-0 Pendleton advantage. Beers and Quinn Doherty would both later score on wild pitches. The four-run inning was too much for the Panthers to recover from.

Redmond pitcher Chase Ulrich put in just 2⅔ innings of work on the mound, but gave up four runs off of three hits and five walks.

Ryan Stahl was sure-handed on Pendleton’s hill, allowing just one run in the bottom of the third. He tallied five strikeouts across seven innings.

“Ryan works hard on his craft,” Haguewood said. “We’re lucky to have him.”

Umbarger hit a perfect 2-for-2 and put three runs on the board in game one. Beers drove in three runners.

The Bucks got six hits but only managed one run in game two. Redmond jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Andrew Mckague’s line drive to left field drove in Cooper Browning. Mckague scored on Colt Folston’s single two at-bats later.

Beers’ line drive in the top of the third drove in Justin Duso to put the Bucks on the board.

Browning sent a hard ground ball to left field again in the bottom of the fourth to drive in two more runs.

Bucks right hander Cooper Roberts collected five strikeouts, but gave up five runs on six hits and one walk over the first five innings.

But no matter — Pendleton had already clinched their spot in the 5A state tournament. The Panthers, however, had to take both games in order to stay alive.

“(Redmond) had their backs against the wall,” Haguewood said. “We wanted to get the sweep, but we did what we had to do. The boys are excited.”

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