PENDLETON — The forecasted precipitation for Pendleton held off until both games of a doubleheader between Blue Mountain Community College and Yakima Valley had finished Thursday, but there was still a trickle of runs across home plate.
And when it began to rain Yaks, it poured.
ight of Yakima Valley’s 14 hits came in those two innings as starting pitcher Quinton Grogan ran into trouble. The freshman from Stanfield had allowed just two hits going into the inning.
Grogan tried battling his way through the bumps and was allowed to finish the sixth frame. By then his team was down 8-3, but being able to finish the inning is important in the competitive mind of a pitcher, he said.
“It’s a motivation to get through your own inning and always help your team out in that way,” Grogan said. “That way a guy in the bullpen doesn’t come (into the game) with less pitches thrown and they’re warmed up.”
Blue Mountain (5-17, 0-6 NWAACC-E) made a game of it with four runs in its half of the sixth. Three of those came on a bases-loaded error. On a ground ball by Timberwolf Kyle Wagner, the Yaks’ short stop Justen Weigel skipped a throw to second base in the dirt and a bobble out in right field allowed all three runners to score.
The score was 8-7 at that point before Yakima (13-5, 3-1 NWAACC-E) tacked on a pair later. The visitors’ Ryan King said scoring in bunches was going to be crucial for a victory for his team. When they had the opportunity to get runs, one or two wouldn’t be enough.
“(Grogan) is a good pitcher so we knew we had to score in those innings,” said King, who had three RBIs in the game, including two on a double in the fifth inning. “The pitches weren’t any different it was just our mind set, that those were the innings that we needed to score runs.”
In the early game, Pendleton’s James Caldwell threw a complete game for Blue Mountain, but was tagged with the loss in a 4-0 outcome. The T-Wolves managed four hits in the contest and left seven runners on base.
BMCC has lost its first six league games in the NWAACC East. The team has struggled to put together well-rounded outings and the results are showing themselves on the scoreboard.
“We need to be firing on all cylinders,” Grogan said. “Like one game we have our pitchers going good, one game our hitting’s going good. We need that all in the same game.”