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Cowboys win opening game 11-4, the come from behind to win game two 11-9 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Trentyn Maryanski dives to catch a fly ball in right field late in the Cowboys win over Ridgeview in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday. The catch saved at least one run for the Cowboys, who won both games of the doubleheader.The Crook County Cowboys rebounded from a devastating loss on Tuesday to Hood River Valley to take both ends of a doubleheader from Ridgeview Friday afternoon in Prineville.

It was senior night for the Cowboys, who won the opener 11-4, then came back to win the nightcap 11-9.

"I guess it feels pretty good," senior Carson Smith said following the wins. "I will be happy when we make the playoffs though."

With the wins, the Cowboys stayed alive in the playoff hunt, however, they will still need help to make the playoffs.

The Cowboys got off to a rocky start in game one as the Ravens scored a run in the opening inning on a walk, two infield singles and a stolen base.

Crook County responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning as Hunter Bishop singled, stole second, then scored on a Carson Smith double. Smith then scored on a single by Louis Duran, giving the Cowboys a 2-1 lead.

Ridgeview answered with three runs in the top of the second to once again take control of the game.

However, the Cowboys settled down defensively, not allowing Ridgeview another run the rest of the game.

Crook County slowly pecked away at the Ridgeview lead, scoring a run in the second and two in the third as they went up 5-4. The Cowboys exploded for five more runs in the fourth inning as Crook County took control of the game. The big hit in the inning for the Cowboys was a triple by Diego Smith.

"The last game we didn't get very many runs going," Diego Smith said. "It feels good tonight. I think we took a step forward at the plate because normally we don't hit very well against slow pitching. It was awesome to win on senior night."

Crook County added an insurance run in the sixth inning.

Kyle Knudtson pitched the first five and two-thirds innings of the game, giving up six hits. However, just one of those hits came after the first two innings. Knudtson struck out eight in the game while walking two. Clayton Wilkins relieved Knudtson on the mound in the sixth and didn't allow a hit in a little more than an inning of work.

Crook County ripped 13 hits in the game, while the Ravens were limited to six. The Cowboys could have scored a lot more runs as they stranded seven runners on base.

Ethan Cossitt had a pair of doubles in the contest, while Carson Smith and Garett Bernard each doubled and Diego Smith tripled. Louis Duran was 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, while Cossitt was 4-for -4 with a pair of RBIs.

As easy as the first win was, the second game was anything but easy. The Ravens scored four runs in the first and three more in the second off of Bernard, who started on the mound. The Ravens pounded seven hits in the first three innings, including a pair of home runs.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys tried to keep pace, scoring three in the first and two in the second.

Wilkins replaced Bernard on the mound midway through the second inning and shut the Ravens down in the third.

The Cowboys took advantage of three walks, a pair of steals and a single by Wilkins to score four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Leading 9-7, it looked like the Cowboys were rolling again. However, Ridgeview scored two more runs in the fourth to tie the game at 9-9.

Wilkins shut the Ravens out once again in the fifth as Hunter Bishop walked, then scored on a Carson Smith triple. Smith scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Duran.

Justin Smith came in to relieve Wilkins to start the sixth and pitched two innings of shutout ball as the Cowboys held on to win 11-9.

Ridgeview finished with 12 hits in the game, while the Cowboys had just six hits. However, Ridgeview pitchers struggled with control the entire game, giving up 10 walks.

Crook County catcher Brody Connell catches a foul ball during the Cowboys' doubleheader with Ridgeview on Friday. Crook County won both games.Carson Smith once again had a great game at the plate, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

"Hitting was something that we had today that we didn't have the last game," Carson Smith said. "We need to have it every game. I think it was approach and attitude. We need to come into next Tuesday being more relaxed. We came into this last Tuesday all serious, knowing that we had to win, just had to win. I didn't see anything special; we should have hit them. I think that it was because of the nerves."

Duran did not have a hit in the game but did have three more RBIs for the Cowboys.

With the wins, the Cowboys improved their record to 8-6 in Intermountain Conference play and 12-1 overall, guaranteeing them a winning league record for the second consecutive year.

Meanwhile, the Ravens fell to 0-12 in league and 0-18 overall.

"It feels good to finish the last two years with winning records," Diego Smith said.

The final regular season game of the season will be this afternoon beginning at 4:30 p.m. in Redmond.

Crook County is currently in the third and final playoff spot in the Intermountain Conference standings. However, the Cowboys do not control their own destiny.

A win over Redmond would help the Cowboys' chances but still not guarantee them a playoff spot.

A win over the Panthers would finish the Cowboy season with a 9-6 league record, while dropping the Panthers to 7-6.

Redmond lost both ends of a doubleheader to Hood River Valley on Saturday, dropping the Panthers to fourth place in the IMC with a 7-5 league record and a 13-7 overall mark.

Although the league regular season was originally scheduled to end today, the Panthers had a doubleheader with Pendleton postponed due to weather.

The Buckaroos are currently leading the IMC with a 10-2 league record and a 13-7 overall record.

A win over the Panthers on Tuesday would give the Cowboys a two-game lead over the Panthers.

However, Redmond swept a doubleheader from the Cowboys earlier this year, giving them the tiebreaker should the two teams finish the league season with the same record.

That means that even with a win today, the Cowboys would need Pendleton to win at least one game at Redmond when the two teams play on Friday.

Assuming that they win on Tuesday the Cowboys are going to have to anxiously wait until lateFridayafternoon to know what their fate is.

Pendleton and Hood River Valley have already locked up the league's first two playoff spots.

"As long as we have a chance, that's all we can ask," Carson Smith said. "I mean, our season should have gone a lot of different ways this year. We should have been easily in the playoffs. Now we need Redmond to lose, but as long as we have a chance, we will be good."

Smith added that he was pleased with the fans that came out and cheered for the team Friday.

"Thanks to all of our supporters who come to our games to support us," he said.

Game 1

Crook County 11, Ridgeview 4

Ridgeview 130 000 0 — 4 6 3

Crook County 212 501 X — 11 13 2

Game 2

Crook County 11, Ridgeview 9

Ridgeview 430 200 0 — 9 12 0

Crook County 324 020 X — 11 6 2

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