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After struggling the entire spring season to win games, the Crook County High School summer baseball program is off and rolling in a big way

PMG PHOTO BY LON AUSTIN - Zach Allen drops a tag on a Bend runner trying to steal second.After struggling the entire spring season to win games, the Crook County High School summer baseball program is off and rolling in a big way.

The Cowboys went 2-1 this past week, pushing their summer record to 5-1.

On Monday, June 13, the Cowboys suffered their first loss of the season. A series of errors proved costly in a 6-3 loss to Sunwest, a Central Oregon travel team. The Cowboys fell behind early but rebounded to make the game close in the end. Cody Knudtson and Gabe Love pitched for the Cowboys.

The following day, the Cowboys led from the start as they dispatched Bend High 4-1. Then, in the final game of the week on Thursday, June 16, Crook County edged Summit 12-9.

In Monday's game against Sunwest, Crook County played well enough to win — except for its defense, which committed eight errors in the game. Pitching was solid, though, and so was the team's hitting.

On Tuesday, Gage Martinez pitched six and one-third innings of shutout ball as the Cowboys were in control from the beginning. Martinez struck out 12, while allowing just three hits and six walks in the game.

"I felt good on the mound," Martinez said. "I was in a groove today, but give credit to my teammates."

Zach Allen closed out the game on the mound, but not without drama. He loaded the bases and gave up one run before finally getting out of the inning.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys scored a run in the second after Kody Knudtson singled, then stole second and third, and finally scored on a Zach Allen single. Crook County added two more runs in the third, with a triple by Benny Allen being the big hit of the inning. Crook County's final run came in the fifth as Tyis Yustat singled and eventually scored on a fielder's choice.

On Thursday, Crook County fell behind early with Summit scoring five first inning runs. Dustin Wilson came in with two outs in the first inning and held the Storm scoreless for three innings as Crook County slowly worked their way back into the game.

Wilson was replaced due to his pitch count, and the game became a score fest as both teams continued to pound the ball and score lots of runs.

Still, the Cowboys did just enough to hold on and win.

"We started hitting the ball and running bases and came back and beat them," coach Frank Martinez said.

The Cowboys have a busy week ahead. After games at Ridgeview on Tuesday, June 21, and at Madras on Wednesday, June 22, Crook County begins a tournament in Bend on Thursday, June 23, with a game against Glencoe.

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