HHS pounds Franklin, loses to Canby on first day of tourney

<p>Hermiston second baseman Larry Posada receives a throw during a rundown in a high school baseball game Tuesday at Armand Larive Middle School. The Dawgs lost to Class 6A Metro League member Sunset, 4-3.</p>

A 6-run third inning for the Canby Cougars spelled trouble for the Hermiston Bulldogs in a 12-5 loss Monday in the Hermiston/Pendleton Spring Break Classic at Armand Larive Middle School.

After a run came home on a balk call and moved Kris Koskella to third base, Canby’s Ty Carpenter laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to plate Koskella and ignited the big inning for the Cougars.

Hermiston starting pitcher Nick Demos ended his short day on the hill after he beaned Trevor Sievers with two outs in the third, but the real trouble for the Dawgs was just about to start.

Reliever Jason Almaguer hit Ben Jeskey with a pitch to load the bases, then Austin Piert delivered the big blow with a bases-clearing, 3-run triple.

The big 3-bagger for Piert gave the Cougars an 8-2 lead.

The Dawgs started to get to Canby hurler Rawley Warren in their half of the fourth frame when they loaded the bases on an error and pair of walks.

Warren’s day was done after he issued a free pass to Austin Kopacz, then Canby reliever Jake Shimmin walked Camran Pollick to force home a run. Hermiston picked up two more runs on sacrifice fly-outs from Heath Baldock and Thomas Hamblin, but stranded two runners at the end of the inning.

In all, Hermiston stranded 13 base runners.

“I can’t say enough about the effort the guys gave today,” Hermiston coach Brent Mattson said. “They gave it everything they had. This one is on me.”

Mattson said the way he wrote the lineup before the game dictated the outcome.

“That’s what I told them after the game. Quite frankly, I cost them the game,” he said. “It’s going to eat at me for awhile.”

After Almaguer’s pitching outing ended at one-third of an inning, starting shortstop sophomore Sean Smith took to the mound and chewed up valuable innings for the Dawgs and their bullpen.

Smith threw four innings and faced 17 batters, one more than Demos faced, and gave up two runs on four hits. While he didn’t strike anybody out, he issued one walk and kept the ball in the infield for the most part and fielded his position well.

He had seven infield assists while on the hill for Hermiston.

For the Dawgs offensively, leadoff hitter Alex Campbell went 3 for 4 with a double while Pollick drive in two runs.

For the Cougars, Parker Woodley had three hits and Koskella hit a 2-run inside-the-park home run in the first inning.

The loss dropped the Dawgs to 2-4 on the season.

HERMISTON 14, FRANKLIN 3 (5 inn.)

Hermiston starting pitcher Tyler Schwirse mowed through the Franklin lineup to earn the win on the mound.

He went all five innings and allowed three runs on three hits. He struck out seven in 95 pitches.

Kopacz and Pollick both hit towering homers out of the cavernous Armand Larive ballpark.

Kopacz’s bomb was a 2-run shot in the fourth for his only hit and Pollick’s was a 3-run bomb in the second inning.

Hermiston posted eight runs in the fourth inning. Tate Gabriel, Thomas Hamblin and Larry Posada all tripled for Hermiston in the run-rule shortened game.

Smith went 3 for 3 with a RBI against the Quakers.

It was Hermiston’s first game of the Spring Break Classic on Monday.

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