The Dalles Horizon Christian came back from a 9-2 deficit to tie the score in the sixth inning, but Dufur scored three runs in the seventh and Cole Parke escaped a late jam to give the Rangers a 12-11 victory Wednesday in Blue Mountain Conference baseball play in Hood River.
Staked to a 12-9 lead entering the home half of the seventh, Parke went to the mound looking to shut down the Hawks.
Horizon put runners on second and third base with two outs, when Jared Davis hit a two-run double to make the score 12-11.
After another walk put runners on first and second base, Dufur shortstop Bryson Caldwell scooped up a ground ball and fired the ball to third for the final force out.
“All in all, we seem to be coming up with wins when we need to,” said Dufur coach C.S. Little. “In this case, after having the game seemingly in the bag, we needed to regroup and come together. It took teamwork and refocus to get the job done tonight. It’s exciting to see young men respond to the challenge.”
Dufur notched eight hits in the game, as the trio of Parke, Caldwell and Kolby Bravos had two hits each.
Parke hit a double and drove in two runs, Bravos tacked on an RBI and Caldwell went 2 for 4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
Horizon’s Micah Engel, who hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth frame, also took the loss on the mound.
Jake Wells added a solo home run and Davis slugged out two hits.
The Rangers (10-7 overall, 6-2 league) remain in third place, one game back of Weston-McEwen and Stanfield with six games left.
Little wants to see his team stay in tune.
“As for keeping in line to win the league, we just need to focus on one game at a time, and continue to find ways to come out on top like we did tonight,” he said.
Dufur travels to Heppner (2-11, 2-6) starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.