PENDLETON - Pendleton quickly put its up-and-down start to the season in the rear view mirror after winning its fifth consecutive ball game Tuesday at Bob White Park.
The Buckaroos improved to 2-0 in the Intermountain Conference with a 7-0 victory over The Dalles-Wahtonka behind another strong pitching effort by Brad Winter.
"It's nice to play league games at home and get them," Pendleton coach Todd Zimmermann said. "The kids felt it was really important to get this win with the Bend game coming up this weekend."
Pendleton (7-4) visits Bend (3-2, 0-1 IMC) at 2 p.m. on Saturday in an IMC doubleheader.
"I was very pleased with the way we approached the game (Tuesday), and it gives us some momentum heading into our game with Bend," Zimmermann said.
Winter tossed six shutout innings, striking out five batters while walking one and allowing one hit. The right-hander set down eight straight batters at one point and had three innings where he faced the minimum.
"I wasn't trying to overpower anybody, but just mix things up a little," Winter said of his approach to the game. "I just wanted to try and get them to put the ball in play and let my defense behind me do the work."
Winter had a no-hitter through 41/3 innings, but Jared Larson mustered a single in the fifth inning.
"It was another nice start by Brad," Zimmermann said. "He may not have had his best stuff, but he battled and let the defense do the work behind him."
The Dalles-Wahtonka (4-4, 1-1 IMC) entered Tuesday's game coming off a 7-3 win over No. 6-ranked Beaverton, but Eagle-Indians coach Steve Sugg wasn't pleased with his team's performance against the Buckaroos.
"We were not ready to play," Sugg said. "Our effort stunk, and we just didn't show up."
Matt Gundlach continued his hot streak at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles. Gundlach upped his team lead in total hits to 15.
"We're playing good baseball right now," Gundlach said. "I'm seeing the ball real well and feel comfortable at the plate."
Pendleton jumped on the Eagle-Indians, scoring four runs in the first inning. The first was highlighted by a two-run double by Blaine Goodwin, who finished 2 for 3 at the dish.
"I think when a team can get out in front, it allows your pitcher to relax and gives the kids the edge to just play baseball," Zimmermann said.
Singles by Jake Calvert, Tucker Whitten and Gundlach resulted in two runs in the second inning for Pendleton, and the Buckaroos took advantage of two Eagle-Indian errors in the third frame for the final run of the game.
"We're having a lot fun right now," Gundlach said. "We're pretty excited for our trip to Bend."
Jason Post tossed the top half of the seventh inning for Pendleton, striking out two batters.
Notes: Pendleton had no errors. The Dalles-Wahtonka committed four errors. ... As a team, Pendleton struck out three times.