It was a game of few runs until Bend finally got the bats going.
At Hood River Valley, the Bucks and the Lava Bears kept things close until Bend fired away with a four-run fifth inning to take down Pendleton 6-3 in a nonleague game.
“At times, we executed and did a good job,” said coach TJ Haguewood. “But there were other times where we got ourselves into situations that we couldn’t wiggle our way out of.”
Bend took an early 1-0 lead at the top of the first, and two scoreless innings ensued until the Bucks ran in two at the bottom of the fourth for a short-lived advantage.
But the Lava Bears were quick to respond in their next at-bat — junior AJ Lovejoy slammed a home run that drove in three. Pendleton would only manage one more run for the remainder of the game.
Lovejoy was Bend’s star player of the day, batting just 1 for 3, but scoring one run and three RBIs. Sophomore Kaleb Karpstein hit 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, and senior Cooper Simmonds was 2 for 3 at the plate with a run.
Junior Cooper Roberts led the Bucks on offense, batting 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Senior Quinn Doherty followed, going 1 for 4 with an RBI.
Junior Tanner Sweek struck out four Lava Bears, but walked four, and allowed two hits and one run over four innings on the mound.
“Tanner threw the ball well to start the game,” Haguewood said. “We got some solid pitching from him today.”
Senior Chris Large pitched during innings five and six, and allowed five hits and five runs. Sophomore Ty Beers finished off the game with a strikeout and just one run given up.
The Bucks (3-4) travel to Southridge for a doubleheader on Friday. First pitch is at 4 p.m. Haugewood expects a good game.
“Southridge is in the top of their division every year,” he said. “We always like to get them on our schedule. It’s good to face that competition in the preseason.”