TD loses late lead to 6A Gresham

The Dalles infielder Ben Nelson fields a groundball in baseball action last season. Following a 5-1 opening-game loss last Thursday, the Riverhawks held a 5-3 lead through five and a half innings, but Gresham scored three runs in the bottom half of the sixth to preserve a 6-5 comeback win on Friday. TD travels to Gresham at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

From the first game to the second, The Dalles baseball coach Steve Sugg noticed a big difference.

TD committed six first-game errors and stranded seven runners on base in a 5-1 loss last Thursday and then bounced back with seven errorless innings, as they squandered a 5-3 lead through five and a half innings of a 6-5 loss to 6A Gresham Friday.

“I had a feeling that we would be a little rusty because we haven’t had an outside practice with the weather keeping us indoors,” Sugg said. “We’ve lost two games now, but I was happy with the way they responded on Friday.”

The Riverhawks put up eight hits and had several chances to rally or increase their leads, but could not capitalize, as they left six runners on base, five in scoring position.

Trailing 3-1 in the fourth inning with one out, Mac Abbas walked, Austin Greene singled and Colton Baughn reached on a bunt attempt.

Ben Nelson drove in Abbas with an RBI single, Baily Hajicek cashed in Greene on a sacrifice fly and Baughn later scored on a wild pitch to move the Hawks ahead, 4-3.

TD left Nelson at third base without any further damage.

In the top of the sixth, Ben Nelson increased TD’s lead to 5-3 after driving in Abbas with a two-out RBI single.

Nelson advanced to third base on a stolen base and a wild pitch, but was stranded.

Those missed opportunities came back to haunt TD, as Gresham rallied for three runs on four hits, two doubles, in the bottom of the sixth frame to jump back on top, 6-5.

With the 3-4-5 hitters due up in the seventh TD went down in order on a groundout and two strikeouts.

Nelson went 4 for 4 with two stolen bases, a run scored and two RBIs to pace the Hawks’ eight-hit attack.

Abbas posted a hit and a walk and scored twice, Greene and Baughn added a hit and a run each, and Dominic Smith doubled and drove in a run.

TD starter Michael Armstrong lasted four innings and allowed three runs on six hits with four walks and three strikeouts, and Nelson tossed the final two frames in relief and was tagged for three runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

TD (0-2 overall) played Forest Grove Monday, and then wraps up the week in Gresham to take on 6A Centennial at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“It is unfortunate, but we are not the only team in that boat. There are no excuses though. We have to keep battling. When we do get outside, we just got to take advantage of every opportunity we got and make the most of it,” Sugg said.

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