Staked with a positive vibe entering a critical stretch in this past weekend’s American Legion Super Regionals, the Columbia Gorge ‘AAA’ Hustlers could not sustain that edge, losing a pair of games Friday and Saturday at Dallas High School.
In their opening contest Friday versus Wilson Alpenrose, the Hustlers fell behind 12-6 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, but fell one hit short in taking a 12-11 setback.
Eli Holeman led off by reaching on a hit by pitch.
Steven Bartells then singled, and Colin Noonan slashed a two-run double to bring Holeman and Bartells to make it a 12-8 contest.
Nolan McCall cashed in Noonan with an RBI double and Clay Copper followed with a run-scoring single to plate McCall and inch the Hustlers to within a 12-10 deficit with no outs.
The next Hustlers batters made outs, but Payton Eaton made things even more tense with an RBI double to chase home Copper to bring CG to within a 12-11 score.
Eaton was in scoring position representing the tying run and Connor Olsen was at the dish looking to deliver the equalizer.
On a 2-2 pitch, Olsen struck out looking to end the game. McCall went 3 for 4 with two runs and three RBIs, and Noonan also added three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs to pace the Hustlers’ 12-hit attack.
Copper went 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI, Bartells had two hits and three runs, and Zach Keimig notched a hit, a run and two RBIs.
Colton Walker got the starting nod and lasted four innings. The righty allowed five runs, three earned, on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Olsen ended up taking the loss in relief, as he gave up seven runs, none earned, in 4 1/3 innings.
He scattered seven hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter.
In the game, CG committed four errors, which led to nine unearned runs.
Even with the opening loss, the Hustlers still had a chance to keep their season going in another matchup versus Wilson Alpenrose.
In this game, The Dalles rattled off 10 hits, received three walks and had two batters plunked, but left 10 runners on base in taking a season-ending 7-3 setback.
Looking up a 7-1 deficit in the bottom of the fifth frame, the Hustlers loaded the bases on a single, an error and a walk with two outs, but an inning-ending strikeout halted the threat.
The Hustlers scored twice in the seventh inning on RBI hits by Copper and Austin Wilson, but left another runner in scoring position.
In the final two innings, the Hustlers had only one hit and could not break through on the Wilson Alpenrose pitching staff.
Copper went 2 for 5 with two RBIs, Noonan had two hits and Bartells posted a single, two walks and two runs scored to total the 10 hits for the game.
Wilson tossed 3 1/3 innings of five-hit ball with four strikeouts and four walks for the loss. Of the seven runs allowed three were earned, as the Hustlers had three errors.
Dakota Walker finished the game with 5 2/3 innings of two-hit ball with three strikeouts and four walks.