By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian

BOARDMAN — Through three games this season, Weston-McEwen softball has found its MVP.

In this case, it’s MVB.

Pitcher Molly von Borstel tossed a complete game  shutout of host team Riverside at the Riverside/Irrigon tournament  Tuesday. But she wasn’t done there. The sophomore also hit a triple in  the first inning as the TigerScots (2-1) came out on top 10-0 to finish  their tournament.

Weston-McEwen has played all of its games this season in the last two days after multiple early season rainouts.
 
 
By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian


BOARDMAN — Facing a deficit of a baker’s dozen plus one, the  Riverside baseball team sent its lineup to the plate in the bottom of  the fifth inning against Kennedy just looking for a spark Tuesday. They needed a Hollywood fiction for the Pirates to come back and win.

That didn’t happen, but the Pirates (3-7) mounted their  best offensive inning of the game before eventually giving in to a 14-2  finish in a run-rule shortened contest.

With one man on, Evan Keefer slugged a triple to  the right field corner before Trevor Graff batted him home with a single of his own. It was no victory, Keefer said, but there was something a  little sweet in avoiding that kind of  shutout.
 
 
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Pendleton's Chad McCoy (Photo by EJ Harris)
By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian


PENDLETON — Pendleton had a hard time putting Buckaroos on the base paths against Reynolds on Monday, the first game of the Spring Break  Classic baseball tournament at Bob White Field. That is, until there were two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

But a late rally that left the bases loaded couldn’t produce enough comeback magic and the Bucks fell to the Raiders 5-2.

The Bucks (5-2) prolonged the action for a few  when Boots Pond hit an infield single with two down in the final inning. A hit batsman and an error loaded the bases before Tommy Lane sent a  first-pitch single over second base to score a run.

 
 
By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian

PENDLETON — When lefty James Caldwell steps on the diamond for the Blue Mountain Community College baseball squad, coach Brett Bryan has come to expect a solid outing from the pitcher. Unfortunately for the Timberwolves, those outings haven’t always translated into tallies in the win column.

On Saturday, the 6-foot pitcher orchestrated a gem from the mound, hurling eight scoreless innings to pick up his first victory of the season in the first game of a doubleheader with Shoreline Community College by a score of 6-0. The issue for Caldwell — one he has no control over — has been run support, but on Saturday Blue Mountain scored six runs for the pitcher.

“Caldwell gets in there and he pounds the strike zone and he gives you a chance every time he goes out there on the hill,” Bryan said. “What we have not done is give him very much support offensively. We did that today and consequently he gets a  ‘W’ out of it.”

 
 
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Pendleton's Darian Lindsey gets caught in a run down. (Photo by EJ Harris)
By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian

PENDLETON — A Pendleton Buckaroo occupied all three bases in the bottom of the first inning with just one out. The Bucks used extreme patience to draw a pair of walks and were forcing Walla Walla (Wash.) pitcher Alyson Ambler to throw extra pitches.

But instead of scoring runs to answer Walla Walla’s one from the top half of the inning, Pendleton fouled out twice to end the threat.

They would never compose such a rally again Friday. Walla Walla (2-0) scored all the runs it would need in the top of that first inning to outlast Pendleton 1-0. The Bucks (2-4) stranded a full team’s worth of players on base in the loss.

“We were waiting for that clutch hit and that clutch hit just didn’t happen today,” Pendleton coach Tim Cary said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Hermiston's Maloree Moss
By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian

HERMISTON — Steve Hoffert still remembers meeting Maloree Moss for the first time. She was in elementary school, the same age as his daughter Jeni, and the two girls were attending a youth basketball camp the coach was running.

“I can still remember this little, blonde, pony-tailed girl just staring at you and wanting to be able to do everything you’re doing at camps,” said Hoffert, Moss’ future high school coach at Hermiston.

Almost a decade later, the ponytail is still there. It’s often the only thing defenders see as Moss dashes past them to the hoop, a blur of purple jersey followed by that blonde streak like the tail of a comet. As a senior this season, the point guard captained the Bulldogs to a third straight trip to the state tournament.

 
 
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Hermiston's Connor Lloyd tees off on the 16th hole at the Hermiston Invite at Big River Golf Course in Umatilla. (Photo by EJ Harris)

By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian


Pendleton’s Pyper McCallum may have won the battle, but the Hermiston Bulldogs won the Big River war.

McCallum blew away the rest of the field at Big River  Golf Course with a one-under-par 69 to win the individual portion of the Hermiston Invite Wednesday. His score was 10 strokes better than any  other player on the day, but the Bulldog pack was just too much.  Hermiston finished with a 322 total stroke count to edge the Bucks — who shot a 330 — for first.
 
 
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Tiger Ross Mendiola tags out Pirate Evan Keefer. (Photo by EJ Harris)
By AJ MAZZOLINI
East Oregonian

The Stanfield Tigers are still searching for quality arms to fill in the gaps behind pitching ace Devin Bailey. Tuesday against Riverside, Bryce Linker did his best to sink his fingers into the No. 2 spot while  leading the Tigers to a 12-7 victory.

It didn’t start smoothly for the senior, though. His  first inning pitches often plunge into the dirt, bouncing along the  ground like the jostled tumbleweeds nearby in the forceful wind. Linker  walked the first batter of the game in Evan Keefer — who came around to  score — but harnessed his control after that point while striking out  eight Pirates (2-2) and pitching six strong innings.

“He got comfortable, I think. He just needed to  get loose on the cold day, had to throw and get warm,” Stanfield coach  Bryan Johnson said. “He gave us some quality innings that we needed,  didn’t get his pitch count up too high for early in the season.”