PENDLETON — Since piecing together its first back-to-back wins of the season before spring break, the Pendleton baseball team has been up and down with a 2-2 record. The Buckaroos got what they hope can be a boost back in the right direction with a 7-3 win over Baker on Monday in non-conference action.

“We’re just hoping it’s the start of a win streak for us,”?said Pendleton coach Greg Whitten. “We play three games this week against teams that we feel like we should beat if we come out to play.”

The first team included in Whitten’s count was the Bulldogs (3-2), and the Bucks (5-5) certainly came to play on Monday and jumped out to a 4-0 lead after a two-out rally in the first inning.

“Guys came through with some clutch base hits with two outs so it was a nice way to start the game,” Whitten said.

Grant Klopmeyer, Chad McCoy and Alex O’Rourke all contributed RBI singles to the scoring flurry, and Tyler Stewart showed great command on the mound to keep Baker from striking back until the third inning.

Even then it was just a single run, and the Bucks made it 7-1 two at-bats later.

“Tyler threw a really nice game for us,”?Whitten said of the senior who finished with four strikeouts and no walks in front of a zero-error effort by his defense. “He was getting all three of his pitches over for strikes and he was keeping his ball down in the zone most of the time, and when he can do that he’s pretty effective.”

Errors in the field and on base paths hurt the Bucks in recent games, but not on Monday.

Whitten said Pendleton executed a couple of double steals to get runs in each the first and fourth innings, but a pickoff at second base showed the Bucks still have work to do when it comes to awareness on the base paths.

Connor Johnson added a two-out two-RBI double in the fourth and finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate, as did Klopmeyer.

McCoy struck out two and allowed no hits in one inning of pitching relief.

Pendleton will look for its second winning streak of the season starting today when it hosts Walla Walla at 4 p.m. They’ll hope for three in a row, which would match their season-long streak, on Thursday when they host La Grande at 4:30 p.m.

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