With both teams locked in to their playoff positions, the Hermiston baseball team dropped a rather anti-climatic game to Pendleton, 9-2, Friday at Weber Field.

The loss dropped the Dawgs to 8-4 in the Columbia River Conference and 16-8 overall. They will host the Sandy Pioneers in a Class 5A play-in game at 5 p.m. Friday, May 20 for a berth in the OSAA Class 5A state playoffs.

“We played timid,” Hermiston coach Brent Mattson said. “And when you play timid, bad things are going to happen.”

That was evident by the six errors the Dawgs made on defense, but Mattson said his club will get out of its fielding funk Wednesday against West Linn and into the play-in round.

“Mentally we just need to figure out how to play against certain teams,” Mattson said. “It’s up to them and I think they will be confident when West Linn comes in, Sandy comes in. They’ll be themselves.”

In the Pendleton game, senior Jeremy Holden put the Dawgs on the board in the third inning with a RBI single to plate Jacob Almaguer and cut the Bucks’ lead to 3-1.

The Pendleton bats caught fire in the fifth and sixth, however, and scored five runs in the two frames to put the game away.

Holden hit another run-scoring single in the sixth after Justin Jones doubled, but that was the only offense the Dawgs would have the rest of the way.

First pitch against West Linn is set for 4 p.m. The Lions are the co-champions of the Class 6A Three Rivers League and wanted to schedule a game on a natural grass surface. They have played on artificial grass for every game this season.

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