Cowboys take two from Corbett
The Crook County Cowboys took a pair of games from the Corbett Cardinals Friday afternoon in Prineville, winning game one 9-3 before taking the nightcap 11-1.
"It's been a long time since we've been 4-0 in league," Crook County head coach Frank Martinez said. "It feels great. It's pretty awesome."
Despite the pair of losses, Corbett head coach Josh Delafield was pleased with his team's effort.
"I've got a great group of kids that are playing the game of baseball," Delafield said. "They are playing a game and enjoying it and getting better. I think I've done my job."
Crook County was the visiting team for game one as it was originally scheduled to be played Wednesday in Corbett.
The Cowboys scored a run in the first inning as leadoff hitter Josh Norris drove a single to right field, then stole second and third before scoring on a Heath Pickhardt sacrifice.
The Cowboys added five more runs in the second inning as they took control of the game. An infield single, a hit batter and a bunt single loaded the bases with one out before Riley Forman ripped a single to left scoring the first run of the inning. A Heath Pickhardt single brought in three more runs. Pickhardt advanced to second on the throw to the plate and later scored on a double by Devin Wilson.
Corbett responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning as Kane Mickalson doubled to center, then advanced to third on a fielder's choice. When Dylan Oliver was hit by a pitch the Cardinals had runners on the corners. Starting pitcher Diego Smith then struck out Preston Horvath for the second out of the inning. Then, Smith hit Cameron Johnsen with a pitch loading the bases before Matthew Krieger singled up the middle scoring three runs.
"A lot of competing comes down to what we do mentally when something doesn't go our way and how we respond to that," Delafield said. "That's what we are learning now. We have some of the fundamentals down. We are hitting and fielding and we are doing all the other things. Now we are working on the last piece and it's the toughest piece of the game."
The Cowboys scored two more runs in the fourth inning to once again take control of the game. Norris reached first on an error, then once again stole second and third before a Pickhardt double brought him home. Pickhardt later stole third and scored on a triple by Brody Connell.
"We are a pretty good team this year," Wilson said. "I'm pretty excited to see what the season holds. I think that this is giving us momentum and getting us excited and ready to play some of the tougher teams."
With Johnsen throwing strikes for the Cardinals and Smith in control for the Cowboys the game turned into something of a pitching battle in the later innings.
The Cowboys scored an insurance run in the top of the seventh as Peyton Faust blasted a triple to center, then scored on a Riley Foreman sacrifice.
Smith struck out five and gave up four hits in seven innings of work for the Cowboys, while Johnsen gave up 14 hits and struck out three, while also pitching a complete game.
"It feels awesome," Smith said of the victories. "We played hard and we hit the ball a lot. We struggled with the bat a lot in the preseason, but we are hitting the ball now."
Game two was all Crook County.
The Cowboys scored a run in the first, two more in the second, then exploded for seven runs in the third inning to take control of the game. Crook County added a final run in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 11-0.
Once again, the Cardinals attempted to rally off of Connell, who came in to relieve starter Carson Smith in the fifth inning. Horvath walked before Johnsen was hit by a pitch. The two runners advanced on a wild pitch before Krieger walked, loading the bases.
A single by Wyatt Jones scored the Cardinals lone run of the game.
Connell final settled down striking out two of the final three batters he faced as he got out of the inning without any further damage.
Johnsen pitched the first three innings for the Cardinals giving up seven hits and striking out three, while walking four.
Carson Smith gave up four hits in four innings of work for the Cowboys, while Connell struck out two and gave up one hit in an inning of work.
"I can only tell them that they can't drop their heads," Delafield said. "They have to continue to compete. That's something that I can only tell them. They have to be the ones to do it. Tonight, they decided that they wanted to do it. Any time you work hard for something and you see some kind of success inside that that's successful."
Game 1Crook County 150 200 1 - 9 14 2Corbett 003 000 0 - 3 4 2
Game 2Corbett000 01 - 1 5 1Crook County 127 1x - 11 7 1