The Pendleton baseball baseball team survived two Hood River leads to sweep the Eagles on Saturday in a home doubleheader, 4-1 and 6-5.
The back-to-back wins helped the Bucks climb the ranks of the Intermountain Conference standings. They currently hold the No. 2 position.
“Any time you can sweep a team in first place, it’s big,” said coach TJ Haguewood. “Still, you have to take it with a grain of salt. The year’s not over yet, but I’d rather be at the top than working from behind. The boys deserve everything they get.”
The Eagles’ Greyson Losee scored at the top of the third inning in game one for a 1-0 Hood River advantage that lasted two innings. Pendleton came back with three runs at the bottom of the third to hold firm on the lead.
Quinn Doherty sent a homer away in the bottom of the sixth to seal the first win. Doherty would go 1-for-3 at the plate with a run and an RBI to lead the Bucks’ offense.
Losee, who spent six innings on the Eagles’ hill, fanned seven Bucks, but gave up six runs on four hits. Meanwhile, Ryan Stahl, who lasted six innings for Pendleton, allowed just one run, and struck out five along the way.
The Bucks took an early 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning of game two, but pitcher Tanner Sweek coughed up four runs in the top of the third as the Eagles pushed ahead.
Justin Duso evened things out at 5-5 in the bottom of the fourth with his RBI single. Hood River went without a run from inning four onward as the Bucks made off with the win.
Curtis Simons hit 1-for-2 with two runs and an RBI to lead the Bucks in the closing game.
On Tuesday, the Bucks (10-7, 7-2 IMC) host the No. 1 contenders from Redmond at 4:30 p.m.
“We have to keep winning,” Haguewood said. “Both of us have two losses. Redmond is a great ball program. It’ll be a big game on Tuesday.”
After two close losses at Hood River Valley, the Bucks now have their backs against the wall.
The Bucks lost 2-0 and 6-5 on Saturday in a road doubleheader against the No. 4 Eagles. With the losses, Pendleton has dropped to No. 4 on the conference standings.
Coach Tim Cary said the Bucks need to win their games from this point forward if they want to stay in the running for playoffs.
“We’re in a position where we have to go win now,” said coach Tim Cary. “We need to win out.”
Lauren Decker threw all seven innings for the Eagles in game one, and let just two hits slip by her, while recording six strikeouts to help keep the Bucks without a run.
Sauren Garton pitched all game long for Pendleton, collecting four strikeouts. She let go of nine hits, but only two runs would come of it.
“It was a pitcher’s duel all day long,” Cary said. “(Decker) is a great pitcher. When you’re up against that, it’s hard to put too many runs on the board.”
Game two was such a close affair that it took an extra inning to decide the outcome.
With the score tied at 5-5 after the seventh inning, Makenzie Chambers sacrificed herself for a walk-off RBI that solidified Hood River’s sweep of the Bucks.
Aspen Garton hit a perfect 3-for-3 for Pendleton, scoring a run and an RBI. Decker benched 10 Pendleton batters, but gave up all five runs and four walks.
“Both ball games were pretty solid,” Cary said, “but they just didn’t end in our favor.”
Pendleton (13-8, 6-5 IMC) travels to the No. 5 Redmond Panthers on Tuesday.