Four-run seventh inning lifts Mountain View past Cowboys

by: ANDREW MATHESON/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - First basemen Austin Marks reaches for a Mountain View player on Tuesday night. The Cougars defeated the Cowboys 8-4.

After the game on Tuesday, Crook County Cowboys Manager Chris Felton talked to his squad about staying in the game for seven innings.
   "It seems like one inning is really hurting us," Felton said. "We need to become consistent playing seven innings of baseball."
   On Tuesday against the Mountain View Cougars, the Cowboys sat tied 4-4 with their conference rival, but a four-run seventh inning lifted the Cougars past Crook County for an 8-4 win.
   "I feel like we're battling," Felton said, "but when it came down to making plays, we didn't make the plays that had to be made defensively.
   "Offensively, putting up only four runs and having seven hits isn't getting it done. This was a game offensively where we hurt ourselves."
   In the seventh inning, with the score tied at four runs apiece, a single to left field by Cougar Pat Cashman brought Jacob Vetter running home from second base for the go-ahead run. But a strong throw by Cowboy John Thompson from left field threw Vetter out at home plate.
   However, after a brief stoppage in play, the umpires ruled that the Cowboys interfered with Vetter on the base path, and Vetter was awarded the go-ahead run.
   "It was the right call," Felton said.
   The Cougars plated three more insurance runs in the final inning and held on in the bottom half of the seventh for the 8-4 win. The loss puts the Cowboys at 1-2 in the Intermountain Conference.
   Austin Marks pitched five innings for the Cowboys, and allowed four runs (two earned) on two hits while striking out four. Michael Morton relieved for the final two innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits.
   "Marks threw well," Felton said. "When he's ahead in the count, he's a dominant pitcher. When he falls behind, sometimes he hurts himself. It's just staying consistent.
   "But both of our pitchers I thought did fine tonight. With the way they pitched, we should have been able to seal the deal."
   The Cowboys had a pair of errors in the second inning and fell behind 2-0, but they regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth by scoring three runs of their own. Mountain View plated two runs in the top of the fifth, while the Cowboys tied it at 4-4 in the bottom of the inning.
   At the plate, the Cowboys were led by Austin Stafford and Richard Combee. Stafford had a double and an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth that tied the game at 4-4, while Combee had a pair of singles and scored the tying run.
   Mountain View's Hayden Mace pitched a complete game for the Cougars, allowing seven hits while striking out four.
   The Cowboys will look to break out of a four-game losing streak this weekend when they travel to Hermiston for a doubleheader against the Bulldogs on Saturday.
   Cowgirls outhit Mountain View 14-6, but fall in the end 4-3
   The Mountain View Cougars leapfrogged the Crook County Cowgirls on Tuesday by scoring two runs in the sixth inning and eventually holding on for a 4-3 conference victory.
   The Cowgirls are 0-3 Intermountain Conference, but have lost all three games - to Madras, Summit and Mountain View - by one run.
   On Tuesday, the Cowgirls outhit the Cougars 14-6, left 10 runners on base, and committed only two errors.
   "This was a tough one," Manager Tom Decker said. "We had a whole bunch of chances to put them away. We worked runners into scoring position, and we either didn't make the big hit or they'd make the big defensive play.
   "When you get 14 hits in a ball game, you need to score more than three runs."
   The Cowgirls were hitting up and down the lineup, with Mantana Reece leading the way with a 3 of 3 day, knocking in an RBI and scoring a run. Kasey George went 3 of 4 with a run scored, Josi Verity hit 2 of 4, and Bre Crakes went 1 of 1 with a double and a run scored.
   "We're hitting the cover off the ball," Decker said. "We just didn't turn all those hits into runs like we should have."
   On the mound, Hayley Porterfield pitched five innings, allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and struck out four. Crakes relieved for the remaining two innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits.
   For Mountain View, Miranda Boyd pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on 14 hits. At the plate, Boyd went 2 of 3 with a double and an RBI while scoring two runs. Alexis Humphrey went 3 of 3 with a run scored and Maryn Wright went 1 of 3 with an RBI.
   Decker said he'd like to get his defense playing more aggressively and with more tenacity. And they'll get their chance this weekend as the Cowgirls travel to Hermiston for a doubleheader against the Bulldogs on Saturday.
   "We need to stop splitting doubleheaders and we need to start winning them, and we can. We've got a good team," Decker said. "We can't let teams hang with us. We need to put them away."
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