The Dalles sent four pitchers to the mound in an effort to keep the Bucks down, but even that wasn’t enough.
On Thursday, Pendleton’s baseball team earned their second Intermountain Conference win of the season after defeating their Riverhawks visitors 12-2 in six innings. The game was Pendleton’s first in a week, following their 4-3 loss at Hood River Valley last Tuesday.
“We haven’t played in quite a while, with these rain-outs,” said coach TJ Haguewood. “The Dalles is a traditionally tough team. They’re a well-coached program. It was good to see us take a win like this today.”
The Bucks let just one inning go by without scoring, and shot ahead early with Ryan Stahl’s RBI single at the bottom of the first to even things out at 1-1. Stahl scored on a wild pitch to put the Bucks out front for good.
Mike Armstrong, who spent the first two innings on The Dalles’ hill, gave up five runs and three walks.
“It definitely wasn’t the best pitching we’ve seen,” Stahl said of the Riverhawks. “We were able to get the hits that we needed. We started getting hits with runners on base, which is something that hasn’t been happening for us much this season. It was good to see that happen today.”
With Tucker Zander and Gabe Umbarger on base at the bottom of the second, Justin Duso hit a fly ball into deep center field — good enough for a two-RBI double.
Ben Schannu pitched an inning of relief for the Riverhawks in the top of the third, but it wouldn’t be of much help. He walked three Bucks and let Umbarger score on a wild pitch. Pendleton loaded the bases with two outs on the board to broaden their advantage, but Ty Beers sent a pop fly to Austin Greene at left field, and stranded the runners.
“They definitely struggled on the hill today,” Haguewood said of The Dalles. “Our boys did a good job of hanging off those bad pitches. We all have those days where it’s kind of hit-and-miss. It just wasn’t their (The Dalles’) day.”
Cooper Roberts, who pitched three innings of relief for the Bucks, threw a three-pitch fourth inning, and Umbarger caught three straight fly balls at center field to keep the Riverhawks away from home plate.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Matt Demianew hit a two-RBI double of his own in the bottom of the fifth for a 10-2 advantage, and Riverhawks pitcher Dalles Seufalemua walked three and threw a wild pitch to allow Zander to score and end the game early.
“Matt came in clutch with that pinch RBI double,” Stahl said. “That’s the kind of stuff we needed to see. It was a good day for us.”
Duso led Pendleton’s offense, hitting 2 for 4 with two runs and two RBIs. Umbarger hit just 1 for 3, but scored three runs. Stahl, Demianew, and Tanner Sweek all drove two runners in apiece.
The Bucks (5-6, 2-1 IMC) are on the road to the bottom-ranked Ridgeview Ravens this Friday for a conference doubleheader.
The Bucks mounted a comeback in the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough to recover from an early Riverhawks streak during Tuesday’s Intermountain Conference game in The Dalles.
Pendleton came within one run, but couldn’t stop a 12-11 loss.
“It was a tough loss,” said coach Tim Cary, “but there are positives to take away from this. It showed that we have no quit in us; that we won’t get down and stay down.”
The Riverhawks brought the firepower in the bottom of the third inning, after they already held a 4-2 lead. Bailey Lebreton hit a grand slam on a 3-1 count that would highlight a nine-run inning.
“We just can’t allow that many runs that early on,” Cary said. “We needed a cleaner defense and stronger pitching.”
Sami Spriet opened the game on the Bucks’ circle and scattered 10 runs off of nine hits. She also walked five, and struck out just three.
The Bucks ran in six in the sixth inning, including a home run from Kila Solomon to help them reduce an 11-4 deficit.
Carissa Cooley hit 3 for 5 with one run and three RBIs, and Aspen Garton hit 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
Pendleton (9-5, 2-2 IMC) hosts a Redmond doubleheader today at 2:30 p.m.