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Despite playing well Cowboys still drop two games at Treasure Valley Invitational

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Garrett Bernard is one of several Crook County pitchers to play well during the Treasure Valley Invitational baseball tournament. Crook County went 1-2 at the event. The Crook County Cowboys played probably their best baseball of the year this weekend at the Treasure Valley Invitational in Ontario.

Despite playing solid baseball in all of their games, Crook County still finished the tournament with a disappointing 1-2 record.

Friday afternoon in the opening round of the tournament, the Cowboys fell 3-1 to the host Ontario Tigers.

Kyle Knudtson pitched five innings for the Cowboys, striking out seven and giving up just two hits. However, a pair of Crook County errors proved costly as Ontario was able to score three runs off of Knudtson.

Heath Pickhardt came in to relieve Knudtson in the sixth inning, striking out two more Tigers while not allowing a hit.

Still, despite giving up just two hits in the contest, Crook County was unable to find a way to win. The Cowboys' lone hit in the game was a single by Brodie Connell, while their lone run came as a result of an Ontario error in the sixth inning.

In their second game Friday afternoon, the Cowboys finally found a way to win, knocking off New Plymouth, Idaho, 11-4.

The Cowboys scored a pair of runs in the top of the third inning to take the early lead, then saw New Plymouth come back to tie the game with a run in the bottom of the third and another run in the fourth.

Crook County regained the lead with a three-run fifth inning. Then leading 5-3, the Cowboys broke the game open with a six-run seventh inning.

Devin Bishop and Garrett Bernard combined to give up eight hits and four runs in the game.

Bishop, who struck out four in five innings of work, was credited with the win, while Bernard earned the save.

Josh Norris, Pickhardt and Carson Smith each had a pair of hits in the game for the Cowboys. Pickhardt also had three RBIs in the game as the Cowboys finished with nine hits in the contest.

The Cowboys committed five errors in the game, but New Plymouth had even more difficulty, giving up nine errors.

The win set up a game Saturday morning against Fruitland, Idaho, in the consolation finals of the tournament.

Once again, the Cowboys broke out on top early in the game, scoring three runs in the top of the first.

Fruitland responded with a pair of runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to close to within a run.

Fruitland then broke the game open in the bottom half of the second, scoring five runs as they chased Crook County starting pitcher Diego Smith.

Smith pitched one and two thirds innings, giving up seven runs on seven hits. However, once again, it was errors that did much of the damage, as just two of the seven runs were earned.

Agustas Williams came in to relieve Smith with two outs in the inning and was able to get out of the inning without further damage.

Crook County scored again in the top of the third inning to make the score 7-4. However, Fruitland answered with two runs in the third, as the Cowboys once again hurt themselves with fielding errors.

Crook County tried to come back, scoring a run in the fourth, another in the fifth, and a final run in the sixth.

However, Fruitland scored one more run in the fifth off of reliever Carson Smith to hold on for the 10-7 victory.

Crook County finished with seven runs on six hits as Connell and Norris both had two hits in the game. Connell also had three RBIs, while Norris had one.

Meanwhile, Fruitland pounded out 10 hits, most in the first two innings, as they did just enough to win.

The loss dropped Crook County to 2-5 on the season.

The Cowboys finished with 16 hits during the two-day tournament, while giving up 20.

The Crook County pitchers mostly did a good job in the tournament, and the team played well at times. However, the Cowboys were plagued with errors, committing 12 in the three games. Those errors proved costly, leading to multiple big innings for Crook County's opponents.

The Cowboys are back in action on Thursday, when they take on Taft in the opening round of the Madras Invitational in a 4:30 p.m. game. The tournament continues on Friday with the game time and opponent yet to be determined.

Ontario 3, Crook County 1

At Treasure Valley Invitational in Ontario

Crook County 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 1 2

Ontario 1 0 0 0 2 0 x — 3 2 1

Crook County 11, New Plymouth 4

At Treasure Valley Invitational in Ontario

Crook County 0 0 2 0 3 0 6 — 11 9 5

New Plymouth 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 — 4 8 9

Fruitland 10, Crook County 7

At Treasure Valley Invitational in Ontario

Crook County 3 0 1 1 1 1 0 — 7 6 5

Fruitland 2 5 2 0 1 0 x — 10 10 5

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