>In game one of a doubleheader Saturday, Crook County nearly knocks off Pendleton
The CCHS baseball team has fallen in eight straight league games, but that statistic can be misleading.
   Included in those games was a close 8-5 defeat to Hermiston, a 9-8 setback to Mtn. View and a 9-7 battle against Pendleton. Those three teams sit at second, third and fourth in the IMC respectively.
   The Cowboys have proven they can compete in the Intermountain Conference and have rallied at times when they've needed to.
   Over the weekend, Crook County hosted Pendleton in one game Friday and a doubleheader Saturday. The Buckaroos ended the weekend with their first three league wins of the season, but not without a fight from the Cowboys.
   While Pendleton won 11-1 Friday and 16-2 in game two Saturday, Crook County dropped a hard fought 9-7 contest in Saturday's game one.
   "We had a chance to put ourselves in that fourth playoff spot by winning two or three of those games, so I thought that we should have done that," said CCHS head coach Mike Lord.
   The Cowboys now sit at 0-8 in the Intermountain Conference and 4-13-1 overall. Pendleton moves to 3-4 in the IMC and 9-8 overall.
   On Friday, Pendleton's Casey Bonner led the Buckaroos on the mound with 13 strikeouts, throwing mostly curve balls. Bonner pitched a four-hitter for the Bucks and gave up just one run.
   "I don't think our kids adjusted to him very well, especially after he threw the same thing over and over," Lord explained.
   Pendleton took the early one run in the first inning, but the Cowboys tied the score on a Derek Fitzpatrick single to the center field gap which scored Scott Ledford. The Buckaroos scored five runs in the second and used three home runs during Friday to secure the victory.
   In game one Saturday, Pendleton took the early 4-0 lead, but the Cowboys responded and made it 4-3 by the bottom of the fourth and took the lead heading into the fifth.
   Fitzpatrick crushed a monster shot to right field with the bases loaded to give the Cowboys the 6-4 lead in the contest.
   Lord said Fitz was a huge factor in the game for Crook County.
   "He was one for four with four RBIs," Lord said. "That's good because he has been struggling at the plate his last five or six ball games so it was good for him to get out of that slump."
   The Cowboys held the lead going into the top of the fifth, but four runs in the fifth and another in the sixth proved to be the difference.
   In game two Saturday, the Buckaroos used a six-run innings in the third and the sixth to claim the win. Jeremy Thomas and Fitzpatrick each scored runs for Crook County.
   The Cowboys will see action again today when they host Redmond at home beginning at 4:30 p.m.
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