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Baseball team earns league win

Crook County wins game one over Hermiston 11-7, drops game two 7-0

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Taylor Knox catches a foul ball during the Cowboys doubleheader against Hermiston on Saturday.


   The Crook County High School baseball team earned a split with Hermiston on Saturday. The Cowboys, who have had trouble scoring runs all season, exploded for 11 runs in the first game of the doubleheader, winning 11-7. On a day that ended in a cold wet drizzle, the Bulldogs came back to take game two 7-0.
   "We hit the ball hard and I thought our focus in the first game was good," said Head Coach Chris Felton. "It was good to see us come out and put the ball in play and compete."
   Mike Haring pitched five-and-two-thirds innings in game one to get the win, while Parker Wooldridge picked up the save.
   "All during the week I was practicing on my location," said Haring. "I had good control today. My arm felt good and I didn't walk anyone until the sixth inning."
   The Cowboys got solid pitching all day, giving up just seven hits in each game. In game one Cowboy hitters pounded out 12 hits but their bats went cold in game two and they could manage only three hits. In the first game Luke Estes was two-for-three with two runs batted in. Zach Close also went two-for-three and drove in a run while Wooldridge was 2-4 with four RBIs. In game two Garrett Puckett was the only Cowboy to hit the ball hard diving head first into third with a triple in the fifth inning.
   "Off the bat, I thought the ball was going to go out of the park," said Puckett. "When it didn't I just put the wheels on."
   "In the first game we were keeping our teammates up and then hitting the ball solid and putting it where we needed to to get people on base," said Wooldridge. "Then in the second game we just weren't hitting solid and we weren't picking up his pitches."
   "Our intensity was higher in the first game," added Close. Bryce Baldock threw a three-hit shutout through six innings to pick up the win for Hermiston in game two while Close was credited with the loss for the Cowboys.
   "I'm really pleased with our pitching," said Felton. "They are playing well and giving us opportunities in all our games to get a win. Hermiston is a quality team. We played sound in both games, but in the first game we played really well."
   The Cowboys have a busy week ahead. They play non-league home games against Burns beginning at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Sisters starting at 4:30 on Wednesday. Then have a league doubleheader at home on Saturday against Pendleton. The JV games begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday while the varsity games are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
   "It was good to get a league win," said Felton. "It's coming along. We are getting better."
   Hermiston 000 102 4 - 7 4 3
   Crook County 320 006 0 - 11 12 2
   Frost, Irwin and Rosales. Haring, Layne, Wooldridge and Puckett. W - Haring. L - Irwin. 2B - Hermiston, Boylin. Crook County, Close. 3B Hermiston, Bratton. Crook County, Wooldridge. HR - Hermiston, Frost.
   Hermiston 205 000 0 - 7 7 2
   Crook County 000 000 0 - 0 3 2
   Baldock, Kopacz and Rosales. Close, Wooldridge, Gruis and Puckett. W - Baldock. L - Close. 2B - Hermiston, Irwin. 3B - Crook County, Puckett.