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Pioneers fire up at the plate

OC batsmen crush the ball for 28 hits in a doubleheader with The Dalles

THE DALLES - Things are starting to come together for Oregon City's baseball team.

The Pioneers punished the ball for 28 hits last Wednesday, as they swept a nonleague doubleheader from The Dalles, winning 14-2 and 10-7, at The Dalles.

'The guys are getting a lot more confident at the plate,' said Oregon City coach Adam Randall.

Junior Ryan Zornado (3-for-3, triple, double, 2 RBI) and senior K.C. Maughan (3-for-3, double) headed the offensive assault in the opener.

Seniors David Greenstein and Jake Nelson had three hits apiece in the nightcap. Greenstein (3-for-3) had three run-scoring singles, driving in four runs. Leadoff hitter Eric Larson (2-for-3) hammered out a triple and a double.

Randall said he was especially pleased with the play of Maughan.

'He had five hits in the two games,' said Randall. 'He may have earned himself a starting spot in right field.'

Junior Leif Gambee went the distance on the mound in the opener with The Dalles, striking out six and walking two, while scattering four hits in five innings.

'Leif made the pitches when he had to, and the defense made the plays behind him,' said Randall. 'He threw his breaking ball for strikes.'

Three different Pioneers took to the mound in the second game, scattering nine hits.

Earlier last week, the Pioneers met their match, yielding 12-2 and 5-2 in a doubleheader with Pendleton.

'We had a couple of inexperienced pitchers [in the first game],' said Randall. 'They put the ball high in the zone and Pendleton hit the ball hard and often.'

Ryan Zornado was sharp on the hill in the second game, allowing only two runs in five innings of relief.

The Pioneers (4-5, 0-1) return to league play this week. They host Putnam today, and they play at Milwaukie on Friday.