Posted Monday April 19, 2010
HERMISTON - The Hermiston Bulldogs defeated the Bend Lava Bears 17-14 on Friday, April 16, 2010 in the first of three games in two days. It was a warm, nice evening that had clouds grow sinister as the sun sank low in the western horizon.
Hermiston led 7-3 at the start of the fourth inning. The Dawgs seemed to be in control of the game at that point. Hermiston then lit the burners and scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth. The bottom of the inning started with the lead off batter, Vaughn Hawkins was hit by a pitch and took first base. Jeremy Holden then hit to right field allowing Hawkins to score. Two batters later Brad Morton walked joining Holden on base. Then with Travis Bratton batting an attempted pickoff at first allowed both Holden and Morton to score stretching Hermiston's lead to 10-3. Bratton then hit to deep left field. Then Larry Posada hit to right field scoring Bratton. Justin Jones then hit a grounder to left field scoring Posada. Jacob Almaguer was then hit by a pitch and took first base. Hawkins then hit to center field scoring Trevor Phillips the courtesy runner for Almaguer. When the inning was done Hermiston led 13-3. If they held onto the lead into the bottom of the fifth then they would have a ten run decision.
Bend had a different plan. Their lead off batter in the top of the fifth hit to right field. The next batter walked. Then the third batter hit safely to left field. Hermiston swapped pitchers putting Morton in. The next batter walked forcing in a run for Bend. The next batter grounded out but allowed the runner on third to score. That closed the gap to 13-5. Morton then struck out and grounded out the next two batters.
Hermiston scored in the bottom of the fifth when Thomas Hamblin scored on a flyout to left field by Posada. Hermiston led at the end of the fifth 14-5.
Bend led off the top of the sixth with an explosion of homeruns. The lead off batter hit a homer. Next came a base hit, a walk then a three run home run. That closed the gap to 14-9. The next batter blased a homer cutting Hermiston's lead to 14-10. A walk and a bunt put two Lava Bears on base. Then came a shot to deep right field scoring two runs. Hermiston led midway through the sixth inning by a score of 14-12.
Hermiston was not about to let the game slip away. Holden hit to right field. Then with two out Bratton hit to right field scoring two runs and giving Hermiston a little more cushion with a 16-12 lead. Booter Lewis then hit to right field scoring Bratton and giving Hermiston the 17-12 lead.
Five runs was not a lot considering the work of Bend in the last inning. The Lava Bears started off the top of the seventh with a roar - a hit to right field followed by a two run homer. That closed the score to 17-14. Hermiston had to tighten things up. The Bears put two more runners on with two hits to center field. Then came a grounder that led to an out when the Dawgs caught the runner at second. Then came a nice pickoff at second base. Then, with two out, Hermiston could finally exhale as a flyout to center field brought the game to an end. Hermisotn won 17-14.
Photos by Terry Aichele