PENDLETON - Despite blowing a 7-0 lead Tuesday, Pilot Rock avenged an early-season loss to the Pendleton junior varsity squad, handing the Bucks its first loss of the season 11-7.
The Rockets (5-3) posted four runs in the seventh inning off four hits only after Pendleton evened the score (7-7) with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
"Too many strikeouts," Pendleton head coach Travis Zander said. "We didn't make the adjustments at the plate."
Pendleton (8-1) struck out 15 times in all and Mitch Byrnes fanned nine Buckaroos over four innings and allowed one unearned run in a no decision.
"Mitch threw a solid game," said Pilot Rock head caoch Troy Jerome of the sophomore left hander. "He is working hard, but we can't keep winning games if we field like we did.
"It's too much on our pitchers to expect them to pitch well when we allow base runners like that."
Pilot Rock took advantage of nine Pendleton fielding errors even though the Rockets had five errors of its own to help Pendleton even the score.
"We put some pressure on them with our speed after they made a few mistakes," Pilot Rock head coach Troy Jerome said. "One of the positives that we take from this one is that we didn't quit, even though they came back."
Joe Williams hit a two-run home run to left field in the fifth and Jeff Drop highlighted the sixth inning with a three-run double for the Bucks with two outs.
"It was good to see Joe hit the ball after a little slump," said Zander of Williams who was 2 for 4 and had an outstanding fielding play at third base in the first inning.
Pilot Rock posted two runs in the first on two Pendleton errors and added three in the fourth with no hits and four Pendleton errors.
"Fielding is something we are working on," Zander said.
Kyle Humphreys had an RBI single in the second and Michael Krosting ripped an RBI double. Krosting picked up the win and was 2 for 3 at the plate.
Phil Perrine saved several runs with solid blocking behind the plate and helped the Rockets with two singles.
"We chipped away and we could have very easily rolled over," Zander said. "We battled, but we just didn't get it done."
Justin Williams hit 2 for 4 and Zander praised his defensive stab at first base that saved two runs with runners on second and third with just one out in the third inning.