PENDLETON — The Pendleton baseball team split its Columbia River Conference openers on Saturday with Hood River Valley, taking the first game 6-5 but then falling in the closer 10-3.

Pendleton coach Greg Whitten said the Bucks (9-6, 1-1 CRC) only needed to look in the mirror to see why their five-game winning streak was snapped in Game 2.

Hood River Valley (8-7, 1-1 CRC) did more than enough to win the game on its own merits, but the Bucks certainly helped set the stage with a lack of aggression at the plate and costly mistakes in the field.

The Eagles blew the 3-3 game open in the fifth inning when Kellan Duffy hit a grand slam for his second home run of the game. He drove in the Eagles’ first seven runs in the game.

But Duffy never would have gotten the chance had the Bucks completed a double play on the previous batter.

“Defensively we made some errors today that we don’t normally make,” Whitten said. “Had we made some plays some of those (Hood River Valley) guys wouldn’t have been up to bat when those things happened.”

Pendleton couldn’t make up for its mistakes with offense because while the Eagles were swinging away, the Bucks were watching third strikes far too often.

The Bucks struck out 13 times on the day, most of them looking.

“We talked about it as a team in between games,”?said Whitten. But the Bucks still struck out seven times in Game 2 and left several runners stranded. “We had guys on base almost every inning in both games it seemed like.”

Ian Rivera batted 2-for-3 as a bright spot in the lineup in Game 2.

The opener started in a much different way than the rest of day went.

Pendleton scored four runs in the first inning to take an early lead they never gave up.

Brian Branstetter had the big hit in the first, a two-run single that got the Bucks on the board.

Chad McCoy battled through five innings and left with a 6-5 lead, then Grant Klopmeyer allowed one hit in two innings of relief to get the save.

If the Bucks can get a little more aggressive at the plate, Whitten said he’ll expect more games like their opener out of the rest of this series.

Pendleton travels to Hood River Valley on Tuesday for a game at 4:30 p.m., then they’ll meet one more time on May 3 in Hood River. After Tuesday’s game at Hood River the Bucks will begin their series with The Dalles Wahtonka with a doubleheader in Pendleton on Saturday starting at noon.


THE?DALLES?WAHTONKA 12-12, HERMISTON?6-2 — In The Dalles, the Hermiston Bulldogs (7-4, 0-2 CRC) were beaten into submission by the The Dalles Wahtonka Eagle Indians (11-4, 2-0 CRC)?on Saturday in the teams’ Columbia River Conference-opening doubleheader.

Hermiston put up a valiant fight in Game 1 but after their comeback fell short, couldn’t summon the will to make a run in Game 2 after falling behind early again.

The Eagle Indians went up 5-1 all on unearned runs in the second inning of the capper.

“A?couple of untimely errors and unfortunately I?think we did start to get down,”?said coach Doug Taylor. “You could see them sort of deflate.”

Hermiston added a run in the sixth inning, but got just four hits off TDW starter Connor Mathisen, who pitched the complete game.

“Game 2 we just had really poor approaches at the plate,” Taylor said, adding the Dawgs hit into 14 flyouts on the day. “We also struck out quite a bit and didn’t make any adjustments.

“Their pitchers did a good job of keeping us off balance but they weren’t anything that we hadn’t seen before.”

The Eagle Indians built their lead in Game 1 with home runs by Nolan McCall and Kevin Henderson, but even down 9-0 Hermiston refused to go quietly.

Cole Smith hit a two-out bases-loaded triple that got Hermiston on the board in the fourth inning, but the closest the Bulldogs would get would be 10-6 in the middle of the top of the sixth.

Hermiston will get two more cracks at the Eagle Indians this season, though. Their next meeting is on Tuesday in Hermiston at 4:30 p.m. and the final game will be on May 3. Hermiston also has a CRC?doubleheader this week on Saturday at Hood River Valley starting at noon.


BAKER 10-7, MAC-HI 3-10 — In Baker, after scoring just three runs in the opener of their Greater Oregon League doubleheader on Saturday, the Mac-Hi Pioneers (8-4, 1-3 GOL) wanted to jump on the Baker Bulldogs (5-7, 1-2 GOL) early in Game 2.

Five runs in the first inning and eight by then end of inning three did the trick as the Pioneers held on for their first league win of the season.

“We talked in between the doubleheader about how we wanted to put pressure on (Baker) right from the get go and these young men really responded well,”?said Mac-Hi coach Mike Garcia. “We made some good plays in the second game. I?felt good about what the focus level and enthusiasm was.”

The Pioneers belted out 15 hits in the win with the top half of the order getting on base frequently.

Dylan Shuler was a hard-luck loser in Game 1 after pitching the complete game for Mac-Hi. His offense out-hit the Bulldogs 8-6, but his defense committed six errors that proved the team’s undoing.

“That’s what we’ve been focusing on, is eliminating those errors,” Garcia said. “That’s what cost us the games last week and we had talked about how to eliminate those errors to give us an opportunity to compete well.”

Chase Copenhaver was 3-for-4 with a walk in Game 1.

The Pioneers will get a non-conference break to work on cleaning up their fielding on Tuesday when they play at Prescott (WA) at 4 p.m. They return to GOL?play on Saturday at Ontario for a doubleheader that starts at noon (MDT).


STANFIELD 19-25, PILOT?ROCK 1-9, 5 inn. — In Stanfield, the mercy rule was in full effect on Saturday as the Stanfield Tigers (8-5, 4-1 SD6) must have eaten their share of Wheaties, then stolen from the bowls of the Pilot Rock Rockets (4-10, 1-4 SD6).

The Tigers sprayed 35 hits around the field in the two games combined and many of those went for extra bases.

“We played well and hit the cover off the ball,”?said Stanfield coach Bryan Johnson. “From 1 through 9 guys were making plays up and down the lineup.”

No two Tigers put on the show that Michael Martinez and Bryce Linker did, though.

Martinez finished the day with 13 RBIs that included a home run in each game and two doubles in Game 2.

Linker totalled eight runs batted in and hit a double in Game 1 while also picking up five of his RBIs. In Game 2 he added two home runs and a triple.

Tyler Renner also hit two doubles in each game and had four RBIs in Game 2.

Linker and Devin Haefer picked up the wins on the mound.

Skylar Leasy was off in his pitching start and was chased from the mound during Stanfield’s 11-run inning that started the twinbill. Before taking the field Leasy had given the Rockets a 1-0 lead with a home run.

Stanfield’s next game is on Saturday when they host Horizon Christian for a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.

The Rockets’ next game is on Monday at the Pendleton JV at 5 p.m. Then they’ll host Heppner on Saturday for a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.


WESTON-MCEWEN 2-11, HORIZON?CHRISTIAN 1-4 — In Athena, two complete games from their starting pitchers led the Weston-McEwen TigerScots (9-4, 4-1 SD6)?to a Special District 6 sweep of the Horizon Christian Hawks (2-8, 0-5 SD6) on Saturday.

Justin Burke allowed just two hits in the opener while defense came through with a flawless outing, giving the teams’ bats time to warm up.

The TigerScots only had three hits in the game and tied the score in the fourth inning when Calvin Thacker reached on a single, stole second, advanced to third after back-to-back walks loaded the bases, and then ran home on a passed ball. They scored the winning run in the seventh when the first three batters walked and Kolten Youncs was hit with a pitch with bases loaded.

“We were lucky to get a win with the way we played,” said Weston-McEwen coach T.J. Haguewood. “The boys did what they needed to do to get the win.”

The TigerScots stranded 15 base runners in opener as Horizon Christian struggled with it’s pitching control.

Game 2 saw the TigerScots getting back to their hard-hitting ways of recent games, though. The TigerScots came through with 10 hits as they went up 4-3 after two innings and then pushed the lead to 11-3 before the Hawks scored one more run in the bottom of the seventh.

Lance Thacker pitched the complete game for the win and Jerad Croswell and Joe Baumann each had two RBIs. Cedric hall was 2-for-3 with two runs and one RBI.

The TigerScots will host Touchet (WA)?on Thursday at 4 p.m. and then return to league play Saturday by hosting Sherman for a twinbill that starts at 11 a.m.



PENDLETON 12-10, HOOD?RIVER?VALLEY 11-1 — In Pendleton, heavy winds made an infield pop-up a pretty good bet for a base hit on Saturday as the Pendleton Buckaroos (13-3, 2-0 CRC) opened Columbia River Conference with a sweep over the Hood River Valley Eagles (10-3, 0-2 CRC).

That was one reason the Eagles were able to total 22 hits but still lose in Game 1, said Pendleton coach Tim Cary.

The main reason, however, was back-to-back five-run innings that catapulted the Bucks into the lead which Marissa Jones then made stick.

“I?guess I?was most proud of the girls for the never say die attitude,” Cary said.

Trailing 10-2 coming to the plate in the fifth, the Bucks boosted their rally with back-to-back home runs from Kas Lemberger and Rayne Spencer. Lemberger’s was a grand slam, and when combined with her double gave her five RBIs in the game. Spencer finished 2-for-3 and Reeghan Lehnert added two doubles.

Shae Lindsey also hit a home run in that game for the Bucks and Darian Lindsey hit a triple.

The Eagles scored their only run of Game 2 in the first inning and Ellie Richards let her defense do most of the heavy lifting from there, finishing with two strikeouts ad two walks in the win.

“Ellie did a really nice job of spreading the hits out,” Cary said. “She kept them off balance for the most part and didn’t allow them to get hits in clusters and that was kind of the key.”

There weren’t any home runs in Game 2 but Spencer added two doubles and went 2-for-2 with three runs, Shae Lindsey was 4-for-4 and Olivera and Richards each finished with three RBIs.

Pendleton will play at Hood River Valley on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and then hosts The Dalles Wahtonka in twinbill on Saturday starting at noon.


HERMISTON?5-13, THE?DALLES?WAHTONKA 0-3 — In The Dalles, Paige Long didn’t do it all for the Bulldogs (9-6, 2-0 CRC) in their Columbia River Conference-opening doubleheader against the Eagle Indians (8-6, 0-2 CRC) on Saturday, but her stat-line from the games certainly suggests she could have.

The Hermiston senior pitched for two wins in the circle and also hit home runs in both games. She struck out 15 batters in Game 1.

But Long wasn’t the only Bulldog dialed in.

“We came out prepared and the girls were very focused all day,” said first-year head coach Kylee Nichols. “From the minute we got on the bus in Hermiston to the minute they finished the last game.”

Jennifer Paxton went 4-for-7 with three doubles, and Allie Rude was 4-for-8 on the day. Game 2 featured 14 hits and another Bulldog home run from Melina Rodriguez, who was 2-for-4 in that one. Also in Game 2, Abi Drotzmann was 4-for-4 with three doubles and Kylee Andreason wa 2-for-4 with a double.

The Bulldogs are tied with Pendleton through the first weekend of CRC play and will take a break from league play on Monday to host Lincoln at 4 p.m. Then they’ll host TDW on Wednesday at 4 p.m. before travelling to Hood River for a Saturday doubleheader that starts at noon.


MAC-HI?19-14, BAKER?6-8 — In Baker, the Mac-Hi Pioneers (13-4, 4-0 GOL) know if they can expect one thing from Baker (5-9, 2-2 GOL), it that the Bulldogs bring plenty of power to the plate each and every season.

With that in mind Pioneers coach Nicole Christian had her team focused on hitting this week, and the extra paid off to the tune of 33 hits and a Greater Oregon League sweep on Saturday to move the Pioneers into first place all alone.

“We really have been trying to adjust at practice and hitting line drives and base hits because the pitching we’re going to see from here on out is not going to be as fast as what we saw the first half of the season,”?Christian said.

On a very windy afternoon, several Pioneers were able to find gaps for base hits to back up Colette Robert as she pitched the entirety of both games.

Nicole Hendley’s only job Saturday was hitting as she served as designated hitter for both games. She performed her duties admirably and on the day was 5-for-6 with three doubles, a home run and five RBIs out of the No. 7 spot in the lineup. Makayla Kelly followed her in the lineup going 3-for-5 in Game 2 with three RBIs.

“I?really would hate to face our team when things are going right,”?Christian said.

Robert, Megan Reed, Brianna Crews and Karli Cortez all had three hits in Game 1.

Reed was 6-for-8 with three RBIs on the day. Robert had 10 strikeouts in Game 2.

Mac-Hi’s has won six of its last seven games and will finish its league road slate on Saturday in a doubleheader at Ontario that starts at 3 p.m. (MDT). After that they’ll finish the season with three home doubleheaders.


HEPPNER?17-4, WESTON-MCEWEN 0-0 — In Heppner, the Heppner Mustangs (9-3, 2-0 SD5)?picked up two big Special District 5 wins in big ways on Saturday against the Weston-McEwen TigerScots (9-4, 1-2 SD5).

Baily Bennett struck out seven and walked none in a no-hit opener that went to the Mustangs after five innings. Then she hit a grand slam while striking out 11 and walking one in a one-hit Game 2 effort.

“That was a big day for us,”?said Heppner coach Petra Payne. “We needed to get two from them.”

Nicole Kempken (2-for-3) and Lizzy Rill (3-for-3) added doubles for the Mustangs in Game 1 and Micha Hintz hit a double in Game 2.

Bennett’s grand slam was set up by a Hintz single followed by a Sam Lemmon single, followed by an error on a Mackenzie Correa hit.

Weston-McEwen will dust itself off and take on Touchet in a non-league game on Thursday at 4 p.m., then return to SD5 play on Saturday by hosting Echo for twinbill that starts at 11 a.m.

Heppner’s only game this week on Tuesday at Irrigon at 4:30 p.m.



HERMISTON?10, SELAH (WA) 7 — In Selah, three Hermiston Bulldogs found the net twice and goal keeper Dylan Hodges had 13 saves as the lacrosse squad won its third game out of the last four on Saturday.

Noah Davis, Trenten Anteau and Carter Christiansen each scored twice for Hermiston (3-4) while George Westfall, Jye Ciesiel and Cody Woods each scored once.

Coach Derrek Lete said the win could have sent the wrong message to his players, though, who he felt only played one solid quarter.

Hermiston trailed 4-3 at halftime, but went on a five-goal flurry in the third quarter to take a 8-5 lead into the fourth.

Lete said that’s been the team’s calling card this season, and he’d like to see them get away from the mental and physical breakdowns that are keeping the team from piecing together a full game of consistent play.

The Bulldogs’ next game is on Wednesday when they travel to Hanford (WA)?to play Tri-Cities at 5 p.m.



PENDLETON?— The referee that was supposed to officiate the Pendleton Sasquatch rugby side’s match with Valley on Saturday was a no-show, but that didn’t stop the teams from getting in a valuable day of rugby.

No score was kept and the Pendleton team filled out its ranks with players from Valley, but coach Eric Gabriel said he was still able to take away a positive impression of his team’s progression.

“We learn something new each match and we try to capitalize on it in the next match,”?he said. “The boys, when it comes down to it, they’re really stepping up and they’re playing smarter rugby.”

Gabriel said one player that is new to the team this season but is starting to come out of his shell is Hermiston junior Alec St. Hilaire.

“I?don’t think I’ve heard him say maybe five words all season but that kid is going to be good,”?he said. “He has a nose for it and he’s tough.”

After the first game finished, both teams stuck around to watch the older players take on Whitman College as Gabriel had phoned in a favor and a referee appeared with a team in tow.

Members of the Sasquatch men’s side joined forces with seniors from the Sasquatch and Valley high school squads to take on Whitman. It was a lopsided loss but it was great fun all the same, said Gabriel.

He said the high school players all had their bright moments in the game.

“It gave an opportunity for some of those seniors to realize that you can play at a higher level,” he said.

The Sasquatch won’t have to provide officials for their next game, a road contest in Portland on Saturday.


Track & Field

OREGON?CITY — Several athletes set personal records at the Willamette Falls Invitational on Saturday, but Jose Macias didn’t just replace his old mark.

The Hermiston junior put his previous best time in the 800-meter run through the garbage disposal, lit it on fire and then buried it under six feet dirt with his first-place time in the event of 1 minute, 59.34 seconds. That was 10 seconds faster than he’d ever ran the race and just a portion of the impressive day put forth by the Bulldog boys distance runners.

Nathan Sanders also set a PR?to place second in the 800, then Eduardo Juarez and Efrain Jaime were third and sixth in the 1,500, respectively, and Alejandro Cisneros won the 3,000. It was Cisneros’ first time competing in the event this season and he finished about 13 seconds off his best pace at 9:05.28.

The Hermiston throwers and jumpers also had a great day for the boys while the Bulldogs girls were led with a trio of gold medals from Mckenzie Byrd and Jansen Edmiston.

Pendleton’s boys found the medals tougher to come by but still garnered a pair of gold, but the girls had to settle for a handful of silver of bronze.

Byrd won her gold medals in shot put and javelin. Her mark of 41 feet, 10.75 inches was more than 10 inches farther than she’d ever put the shot, and her distance of 132-0 in javelin was a season best and two feet, two inches short of a PR.

Edmiston won her gold medal in the 300-meter hurdles, an event she’s competed in just twice. She won it Saturday with a PR in 46.57.

Also winning gold for Hermiston was David Barnett in the boys’ javelin. He threw the spear 176-8 for a season long and was joined on the podium by teammate Jerod Munsterman who placed third with a 156-10 PR. Munsterman also PR’d to place second in shot put (46-10.25).

Austin Field hadn’t qualified a pole vault in competition in two years, but the Bulldog cleared 12-6 for a PR?and gold. Ashton Earl was second in long jump (20-5)?and third in triple jump (40-4). Oscar Contreras-Leal was second in the 300 hurdles (42.57).

Pendleton’s gold medals were won by Jacob Rickman with his season-best time in the 200 (23.23) and Donte Robinson with a triple jump distance of 42-0.5. Rickman was also fourth in the 100 (11.56)?and Robinson added a third in high jump (6-0).

Although she didn’t get any gold, Amanda Fowler had a very strong showing for the Buckaroo girls with four top-five finishes.

She was second in triple jump (32-11), had a PR?to place third in javelin (114-6) and was also third in high jump (5-0)?and was fourth in long jump (15-6). Teammate Xayna Robinson was second in high jump (5-0)?as the only other Buckaroo girl to place in the top three of an event.

Both Pendleton and Hermiston will compete at the Columbia River Conference preview on Tuesday at Hood River. The meet will feature only CRC?teams so just Hood River Valley and The Dalles Wahtonka will complete the field.

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