Baker baseball falls in extras
By GERRY STEELE
Pitching, hitting and fielding.
The basics to any high school baseball game.
Baker had a tough time with all three Friday, dropping a 7-4 8-inning nonleague contest to Class 5A Pendleton at the Baker Sports Complex.
The Bulldogs (1-1) committed seven errors, walked seven, hit two batters, and had just five hits against the Bucks (4-1).
“We just have to hit the ball better than that,” said Baker coach Dan Blankenship.
“And, we weren’t real stellar in the field. But we’ll get better.
“Pendleton is a real good ballclub. We’ll get there. The boys played hard. This just gives us some things to work on,” Blankenship said.
And, despite the subpar afternoon, the Bulldogs still had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning.
With one out Jake Grammon lined a double to left-centerfield. Then, an out later, Sam Averett’s infield single plated Grammon with the tying run. Averett then made the third out trying to steal second base.
Pendleton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Connor Johnson’s RBI double.
The Bucks increased their lead to 2-0 i the top of the fourth, using thre walks an error and a passed ball to score the run.
Baker had managed just one hit, an infield single by Grammon, to that point.
But, in the bottom of the fourth, Baker took a 3-2 lead despite getting just one hit.
Dillon Blankenship opened the inning by getting hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a single by Colten Richards. Blankenship moved to third when Pendleton committed an error trying to pick him off second.
Blankenship scored Baker’s first run on a balk.
The Bulldogs then loaded the bases with no outs when Braden Phillips and Mason Cline were hit by pitches.
Kody Younger then popped up to shallow right field. The Pendleton second baseman made the catch, but Richards tagged and scored from third giving Younger a sacrifice fly.
Nate Baeth then laid down a squeeze bunt to score Phillips and give Baker a 3-2 lead.
Pendleton threatened in th etop of the fifth, but with runners on second and third, Baeth, the second Baker pitcher, got three straight outs to preserve Baker’s lead.
Blankenship came on in the sixth to try to save the win.
But, two more Baker errors, and an RBI double by Lane Richards, gave Pendleton a 4-3 edge.
In the Penldeton eighth inning, two more Baker errors, and a long home run by Tommy Lane accounted for three runs.
Baker then went quietly in the bottom of the inning.
Grammon and Colten Richards each had two hits for the Bulldogs.
Blankenship took the loss on the mound.
Baker returns to action this week with home doubleheaders against Scappoose Tuesday and Sweet Home Friday. Both twinbills start at noon at the Baker Sports Complex.
Merriman, Stewart (4), L. Richards (7) and O’Rourke. Averett, Baeth (4), Blankenship (6) and Cline. WP — L. Richards. LP —Blankenship.
Pendleton hits —C. Johnson, L. Richards 3, Lane 2, Pond, VanPelt. Pendleton RBI —C. Johnson, L. Richards, Lane 2, VanPelt.
Baker hits —Grammon 2, C. Richards 2, Averett. Baker RBI —Younger, Baeth, Averett.
2B —C. Johnson, L. Richards 3, Grammon. HR —Lane.