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CC nearly pulls off two straight but falls in a home heartbreaker, 5-4 loss to the Riverhawks

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Austin Vaughan, playing shortstop for the Cowboys, throws to first base to get a Riverhawk runner during Crook County's 5-4 home loss to The Dalles on May 8.The Crook County High School baseball team split a pair of games with The Dalles this past week.

Tuesday in The Dalles, the Cowboys earned an 8-3 win for their first victory of the season. Then on Saturday, the Cowboys suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 home loss to the Riverhawks.

Tuesday, The Dalles took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Cowboys responded with a run of their own in the second inning to close to within a run at 2-1. The Dalles added a run in the fourth, before ??the Cowboys exploded for three runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, and three more in the seventh as they pulled away for the easy win.

Matt Delapena started on the mound for the Cowboys, pitching four innings and giving up three runs on seven hits. Tyson Martinez came in to relieve Delapena in the fifth and pitched three innings, giving up one hit and holding the Riverhawks scoreless down the stretch.

Meanwhile, Crook County finished with nine hits, including a double by Benny Allen, who went 2-2 on the day. Tyis Yustat, Delapena, Hayden Foreman, Prestyn Jones, Austin Vaughn, Justin Smith and Brodee Clifton each had hits in the game.

Saturday, the Cowboys took control early and appeared to have the game in hand when The Dalles rallied in the seventh inning to take the one-run victory.

Crook County scored a run in the bottom of the first on a Yustat double, a stolen base and a strikeout where the catcher dropped the ball. The Dalles tied things up in the third, but Crook County scored three runs in the fifth to take control of the game. Clifton walked to start the inning, then stole second. A bunt single by Yustat put runners on the corners. Yustat then stole second base. Clifton scored on a wild pitch, then Delapena hit a single up the middle, scoring Yustat. Clayton Dill came in to run for Delapena and eventually scored on a single by Jones.

With Martinez in total control on the mound, that looked like it would be plenty of runs for the Cowboys. In his first six inning of work, the Cowboy freshman struck out nine while walking just one batter and limiting Riverhawk batters to just four hits.

Then in the sixth inning, Martinez gave up a bloop single to short right field then walked four consecutive batters before he was replaced on the mound by Delapena. Delapena then hit a batter, pushing in the fourth run of the inning for The Dalles as the Riverhawks took a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom half of the seventh, Allen ripped a line drive between the Riverhawk right and center fielders that went to the fence. Allen rounded second base, but then instead of heading to third, returned to second with a stand-up double. A sacrifice fly by Vaughn moved Allen to third, but that was as far as he got. With two outs in the inning, Jones hit a hard shot toward third that took a high bounce. The Dalles third baseman leaped in the air, spearing the ball and threw to first. However, The Dalles first baseman dropped the ball and while picking it up seemed to have stepped off first base. Still, Jones was called out in a disputed play, ending the game.

Crook County batters had eight hits in the game, with two each by Vaughn and Yustat, while Delapena, Allen, Jones and Dustin Wilson each added hits. The Cowboys also had five stolen bases in the game, but still came up just short.

?Crook County is now 1-10 on the year and 1-7 in conference play, while The Dalles improved to 3-9 overall and 3-4 in conference play.

The Cowboys were also scheduled to play the Bend Lava Bears on Saturday. However, The Dalles was late arriving for the first game, so that game ended up being canceled, while Bend still played The Dalles, coming away with an 18-8 win over the Riverhawks. With the win, the Lava Bears improved to 8-3 on the year.

Crook County hosts the Pendleton Buckaroos, 10-2, 8-0, today beginning at 4:30 p.m., then go on the road on Saturday for games with Pendleton and La Grande. Games are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Crook County 8, The Dalles 3

Crook County 0 1 0 0 3 1 3 – 8 9 3

The Dalles 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 8 1

The Dalles 5, Crook County 4

The Dalles 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 – 5 5 0

Crook County 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 8 0

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