Late runs lift Buckaroo baseball squad past Blue Devils

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PENDLETON — Turnabout is fair play, perhaps, but that doesn’t make it fun.

Pendleton scored twice in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat Wa-Hi 9-8 here Tuesday afternoon in a non-league prep baseball game at Bob White Field. The outcome was reminiscent of Wa-Hi’s earlier 3-2 victory over the Buckaroos at Murr Field in which the Blue Devils pulled out the win with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“It was a fun game but a tough loss,” Wa-Hi coach Keith Gradwhol said. “The kids are disappointed. But I guess turnabout is fair play.”

There were a total 37 hits in the extra-inning affair, with the Bucks outhitting the Blue Devils 19-17. Pendleton won the game in the bottom of the ninth on a one-out single by Connor Johnson and back-to-back doubles by the Bucks’ No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Quinton Queampts and Ivan Rivera.

One of those doubles, however, was somewhat tainted in Gradwohl’s eyes because it was a line drive past the Wa-Hi third baseman, who lost the ball in the sinking sun.

“On another day, we might have made that play,” Gradwhol said.

“But it was a real good high school baseball game,” he added. “There were a lot of hits, obviously, a lot of base runners and a lot of clutch hitting and fielding on both sides. Pendleton is a good match for us.”

Perhaps the most clutch hit of all came off the bat of Wa-Hi’s Zach Zehner, who drilled a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to knot the score at 7-7 and eventually send the game into extra innings.

“It was a real shot,” Gradwohl said of Zehner’s homer. “A line drive over the center field wall, which is a pretty high wall.”

Adam Mathews had three hits for the Blue Devils and Junior Ruiz, Zane Henderson, Jarod Needham and Zehner had two hits each. Adam McCoy, Grant Klopmayer and Johnson had three hits each for Pendleton, and Queampts added two hits.

Wa-Hi had a chance to win the game in the eighth inning, Gradwohl said, but Needham was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base on Nate Sumerlin’s base hit. Needham had singled and stole second base leading up to the crucial play.

Gradwohl also had praise for Daniel Lake, who came on in relief in the fourth inning and pitched the rest of the way for the Blue Devils.

“He gave up a few runs, but he had them off balance and kept us in the game,” Gradwohl said of Lake.

The Blue Devils are now 3-6 on the year and return to Mid-Columbia Conference play next Tuesday with a 4 p.m. doubleheader at Hanford. Wa-Hi is 1-3 in league play.

Pendleton 9, Wa-Hi 8

Wa-Hi 110 300 201 — 8 17 2

Pendleton 230 011 002 — 9 19 3

Reardon, Lake (4) and Watilo, Daniel (5); Hillmick, Rivera (5), Klopmayer (7) and O’Rourke.

HR — Wa-Hi, Zehner.

Hits — Wa-Hi: Mathews 3, McKinney, Camacho, Ruiz 2, Needham 2, Henderson 2, Sumerlin, Lake, Zamora, Zehner 2, Watilo; Pendleton: Johnson 3, Queampts 2, Rivera, Klopmayer 3, O’Rourke, Pond, McCoy 3.

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