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Holliday scores the game-winner in 5-4 triumph

Maverick Winslow drove in the tying run and Ben Holliday scored the game-deciding passed ball in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 5-4 extra-inning defeat of Irrigon Wednesday in Blue Mountain Conference baseball play in Irrigon.

Originally, this game was etched in as a tie, but due to the current standings with Sherman, Irrigon and Pilot Rock battling it out for district seeding, the game needed to be completed.

When they last played on April 11, both teams battled to a 2-all deadlock through seven innings when action was called for darkness.

“We battled. Everybody got their heads up, everybody was on the same page and we fought hard to preserve that win,” said Sherman coach Joe Justesen. “It was a huge, huge victory for us.”

Both squads went scoreless in the eighth frame, but the Knights scratched across two unearned runs against Sherman reliever Austin Kaseberg to regain control at 4-2.

With one out in the home half of the ninth, Nick Coleman was issued a walk, and then Wyatt Stutzman followed with a bloop single to shallow right field to put runners on the corners.

Kaseberg chased home Coleman with an RBI groundout to third base to draw the Huskies to within a 4-3 deficit.

Ben Holliday was up next, representing the tying run with two outs.

On the first pitch, Stutzman swiped third base to move the equalizer within distance.

Holliday worked the count full and forced a walk to put runners on the corners.

Winslow then drove in Stutzman to tie the score at 4 after blistering a line drive off the Irrigon third baseman.

Daniel Aguilar then came up with a chance to play hero, and he laid down a bunt single down the third base line to load the bases for Kyle Fields.

On the 1-0 offering hurled home by the Knight southpaw, the ball went off the catcher’s glove all the way to the backstop.

Holliday hustled home to score the game-clinching tally.

“This win makes us believe that we can win a close game like that even though we faced adversity,” Justesen said. “We put ourselves in a good position now. We have a golden opportunity on Friday. If we can compete against Pilot Rock, like we did in the bottom of the ninth today, I feel very strongly about our chances to come out ahead.”

In all, Sherman rapped out 10 hits, and Winslow had a 2 for 5 effort with a run scored and RBI. Coleman finished 1 for 3, walking twice and scoring two runs.

Kaseberg picked up the win on the mound. The junior right-hander tossed five innings of one-hit ball with four strikeouts and two walks.

Both the runs he allowed were unearned.

In a non-league contest played Tuesday in Lyle, Wash., Kaiden Paulette had a hit, three walks, an RBI and four runs scored to lead Sherman to a 13-3 mercy-ruled win over the Cougars.

The Huskies used the first two frames to build a huge lead by scoring four runs in the first inning and five more in the second.

Luke Lawrence went 1 for 4 with a run scored, and Ryan Asher had a pair of hits, a walk, a run and an RBI.

Max Martin last 4 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits with five strikeouts for his third win of the season.

With Wednesday’s win, Sherman (14-6 overall, 7-5 league) is tied for third place along with Pilot Rock (12-10, 7-5).

The two squads hit the diamond at 2 p.m. Friday for a pivotal doubleheader.

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