Mt. Hood CC baseball opens the season with a split against Edmonds

by: THE POST: PARKER LEE - Mt. Hoods Logan Grindy takes a swing at a pitch during Game 2 of Saturdays season-opener doubleheader.

A breakout eighth inning lifted the Mt. Hood CC baseball team to 6-4 win in the second game of its opening day double-header against Edmonds, Wash.

Prior to the eighth inning, the Saints were not feeling particularly good about themselves. They had already lost the first game of the day in 12 innings and the second contest wasn’t shaping up any better. Edmonds had a 4-1 lead and its pitching staff was keeping the Saints in check.

“For most of the day, we didn’t put much pressure on them,” Mt. Hood coach Bryan Donohue said. “We were over-aggressive and swung at a lot of bad pitches. We really lacked timely hitting.”

Mt. Hood catcher Marcus Blackmon turned the Saints’ fortunes when he led off the bottom half of the eighth inning. Blackmon, a former Sandy High standout, fought off a curveball on the outer-half of the plate and turned it into a soft grounder to the third-base side. The thick grass slowed the ball down enough for Blackmon to leg out his second infield single of the game.

Blackmon stole second base a few pitches later, advanced to third on a walk and scored on a sacrifice fly to left-center to cut the deficit to two runs. However, the trail runner also tried to tag up and was thrown out at third base.

Designated hitter Dakota Farmer, a Reynolds grad, kept the inning alive when he reached on an infield single of his own, loading the bases for Kendall Main.

Main saw multiple pitches flirt with the strike zone, but he didn’t bite and drew a walk, which forced in a run. Myles Richard stepped into the batters’ box and got plunked in the back on the first pitch. Just like that, the Saints had tied the game without hitting the ball hard once.

“We finally put in some quality at-bats,” Donohue said. “They were obviously struggling to throw strikes, but we didn’t do them any favors.”

On the next at-bat, Jon Wellborn delivered the clutch hit the Saints needed. With two strikes against him, Wellborn gave Mt. Hood its first lead when he laced a line drive to left field, bringing in Farmer.

“It was good to see us get a big hit at a big time,” Donohue said. “He was behind in the count, and he put a really good swing on the ball. We needed that.”

Blackmon returned to the plate with the bases still loaded. He walked, forcing in Main. Edmonds got out of the inning after that, but the damage had been done.

With a two-run lead, the Saints quickly retired the Tritons in the top of the ninth to clinch their first win of the season.

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