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Cougars tally first victories of the season, Vikings still seeking elusive 'W'

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Country Christian catcher Zeke Ewing puts the tag on Colton's Adam Balzer to prevent a run in the Cougars' 10-8 victory over the Vikings in the first game of a double header on April 18.Entering the halfway point of the season, the Country Christian and Colton baseball teams were on similar trajectories, albeit taking much different routes to get there.

The two Clackamas County neighbors each came into the three-game series seeking their first wins. The Cougars had lost their first 11 games of the season against a brutal schedule that featured two undefeated teams and five opponents that had combined to win 80% of their games.

Meanwhile, the Vikings had played just 20 innings of total baseball in four games, three of which came against 2021 state runner-up Kennedy. Colton was 0-4 coming into the series against Country Christian, with just as many canceled matches on their schedule as contests played.

And while the Vikings were unable to take a game from the Cougars, the two teams played some of their best baseball of the season over the past week.

Colton hosted the first game on April 14, falling 13-7 to the Cougars after a midweek deluge of spring rain forced the two clubs to play all three of their games on back-to-back days, finishing with a double-header April 15 at Country Christian's home field.

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Country Christian senior Brayden Duckworth slides back to second to avoid the pickoff tag from Colton second baseman Jordon Heavans. PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Country Christian senior Luke Stopper rounds third base for the score in an explosive offensive series against the Vikings. The Cougars scored 34 runs in their three wins after just 21 runs combined in their previous 11 games.The two teams put on their best offensive games of the season, with the Cougars pulling out a 10-8 victory in the first game before walking away with a more comfortable 11-2 win in the second.

Country Christian (3-11, 3-6 Special District 2) looks to continue its win streak against the Sheridan Spartans (0-7, 0-5 SD2) this week. The two teams were scheduled to each host a game on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, before finishing the series at Sheridan on Friday.

Colton (0-7, 0-4) was scheduled to play host to the Culver Bulldogs (8-3, 5-1) on April 19. The Vikings then travel to Culver High School on April 21 for a double-header.PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Country Christian freshman Tanner Crandall got the nod in the opening game of the April 15 double-header, pitching his first victory of the season after being relieved by teammate Brayden Duckworth.PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Colton shortstop Nolan Earls gets the out at second base and fires it to first for an attempted double-play.


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