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Hitting, pitching keys to Tribe win

— It was good recipe for a rebound.

After being two-hit in a 4-0 shutout loss to Marist, The Dalles Wahtonka baseball team slugged out nine hits, three going for extra bases and the Tribe relief staff made an early lead hold true in a 5-3 triumph Wednesday in baseball action at Quinton Street Ballpark in The Dalles.

TDW manager J.R. Runyon said it was much different story than what occurred in Marist

Against the Spartans, he said the pitching stayed around the strike zone and gave the defense a chance to make a lot of the plays.

“We did the same thing tonight, so I am really pleased with all of our pitchers,” Runyon added. “We are coming along and they are doing what we are asking of them and being smart while they do it. They are limiting free passes, I think we had two tonight. That is what we need if we are going to be successful.”

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TDW Varsity Baseball

The Dalles Wahtonka varsity baseball.

The Dalles Wahtonka varsity baseball.

By TDW’s offense coming through with five runs, it gave pitchers Steven Bartells, Connor Mathisen, Hunter Malcolm and Dakota Walker plenty of cushion to work with.

From the fourth inning on, the Eagle Indian relief trio allowed three hits, struck out three and allowed one unearned run.

“It was really good to see our pitchers get back to their winning stuff,” said TDW junior Nolan McCall.

In the first frame, TDW jumped out in front with two runs on one hit, two walks, an error and a hit batter.

McCall drove in Steven Bartells with an RBI single on a hit that dribbled past Sandy centerfielder Blake Robison for an error.

On the miscue, Mathisen scampered home to move TDW in front, 2-0.

Sandy crept closer to 2-1 in the second frame, but in the home half, Mathisen chased home Bartells, who doubled with one out, with a two-out run-scoring single to center to make it 3-1.

Austin Keller added an RBI double to bring in Clay Copper in the third to run the count up to 4-1.

With the scoreboard reading 4-2, the Eagle Indians started a rally on three consecutive hits.

Copper led off with a double to left field, and then Austin Wilson followed with a bloop single to center to put runners on the corners.

Keller then rifled an RBI single to center to bring home Copper to make it 5-2.

Sandy added an unearned run in the sixth off Malcolm, and Walker retired the side in order in the seventh inning.

McCall expressed the importance of picking up an early victory to keep this momentum going.

“It feels really good to get the first win out of the way,” he said. “Now we can look forward to the next game. We need to keep practicing hard and keep doing what we do. It is going to take everybody working as a team to get things done.”

More important for Mathisen was the fact that the Eagle Indians answered every one of Sandy’s runs with a rally of their own.

It showed some inner resolve – this team will not give in when things get tense down the stretch.

“Being able to go back out on the mound and have the confidence that my team is going to be able to come back the next inning and respond is a huge boost,” he said. “Every time they scored in this game, we responded in the very next inning, so they were never able to get back into it.”

Mathisen came through with his arm and his bat in TDW’s home opener.

The lefty tossed three innings of three-hit ball with a strikeout and a walk.

One of the two runs allowed was earned.

From the batter’s box, the Tribe senior went 2 for 3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.

Bartells, McCall, Clay Copper, Austin Wilson and Kaci Kiser notched a hit apiece, and newcomer Keller added a 2 for 2 split with a double and two RBIs.

“We came out and hit the ball,” Wilson said. “We got some doubles, some triples and just came out and showed our sticks tonight. We did good as team. We all came to play and we all contributed in every way we could.”

TDW (1-1 overall) has a few days off before hitting the diamond again for a doubleheader against Bend starting at Noon Saturday at Quinton Street Ballpark.

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