HOOD?RIVER?— The Pendleton Buckaroos hadn’t scored in three innings while watching Hood River Valley erase a 3-0 deficit, but just when things were looking grim in the seventh inning, Matt Holmes stepped to the plate and delivered a two-run single the swung the momentum back to the Bucks.

Pendleton rallied for three more runs in the frame and then stopped the Eagles’ scoring at one run in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the Columbia River Conference baseball win 8-4 on Tuesday.

“That was a hug hit for Matt,” said Pendleton coach Greg Whitten, who came away much more pleased with his team’s hitting than he was after their split with the Eagles (8-8, 1-2 CRC) on Saturday.

Pendleton (10-6, 2-1 CRC) finished the game with 13 hits and was much more aggressive at the plate, Whitten said, but still needs to be a little more cerebral in its approach.

“We got better. We’ve still got a ways to go,”?he said. “We’re going to spend this week in practice working on some situational hitting and talking about plate approaches and how pitchers will try to get you out.”

Brian Branstetter had Hood River Valley’s pitchers figured out Tuesday and went 3-for-4 at the plate. Chad McCoy was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Quentin Quaempts was 2-for-4 and Ian Rivera was 2-for-5.

Rivera got the win pitching two innings of relief for Tyler Stewart, who had a good start and left the game at 3-3 in the sixth.

“Tyler did exactly what he’s been doing the last four or five outings for us,” Whitten said, adding Stewart is as close as the team has to an ace right now. “He gave us a chance to win.”

Pendleton moved into a first-place tie in the CRC?with The Dalles Wahtonka after the Eagle Indians lost to Hermiston on Tuesday. The Bucks and Eagle Indians will meet for a doubleheader on Saturday that will start at noon at Pendleton’s Bob White Field.

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