Facing three 6A schools and an undefeated 5A Putnam through four non-league games, The Dalles baseball has been very competitive with three of those losses by two runs or fewer, two by one run.
If they can get those clutch hits, maybe they are 4-0 to start 2019.
The Dalles lost 7-6 to 6A Forest Grove Monday and were edged by a 4-2 margin versus 6A Centennial Wednesday. They totaled 17 hits, seven walks and a hit by pitch and stranded 20 baserunners, 11 in scoring position.
In Monday’s game, the Riverhawks left the bases loaded in the fifth inning and runners at second and third in the sixth and had leadoff batter Ben Nelson reached on an error to start the seventh frame.
The next three batters ended up striking out to end the game.
Nelson was 4 for 5 with a double, two stolen bases, two runs scored and an RBI to pace TD’s 12-hit output.
Dalles Seufalemua went 3 for 5 with a stolen base and a run scored, Ben Schanno added two hits and an RBI, and Mac Abbas ended up 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI.
Dominic Smith tossed four innings of seven-hit ball with four walks and eight strikeouts, and allowed seven runs, five earned, to get the loss.
Wednesday, The Dalles stranded seven runners, including the bases loaded in the fifth frame, and in the seventh Jaxon Pullen led off with a walk, but was doubled up on a lineout by Nelson.
A two-out walk to Baily Hajicek gave the Hawks a little life, until a game-ending fielder’s choice groundout by Smith ended the rally.
Nelson had two more hits, a stolen base and a run scored, Seufalemua went 1 for 1 with two walks, Michael Armstrong checked in with a double, a stolen base and a run, and Hajicek finished 1 for 3 with a walk.
Armstrong got the loss, as he allowed three runs on five hits with seven walks and three strikeouts in his four innings as the starting pitcher.
TD (0-4 overall) heads to Arizona for tournament play next week, and then takes on Heritage (1 p.m.) and Prairie (3 p.m.) from Hood River Valley on Saturday, April 6.