COLFAX — Entering in the fourth inning, Whitman County’s Joe Bendel stepped into a sticky situation. His team was already in a three-run hole that had been dug earlier in the frame. And Bendel, the Cougars’ reliever, inherited two base runners with just one out.
Bendel struck out the first batter he faced before inducing the next batsman into a groundout to keep his team within striking distance, and the Cougars went on to rally past the Moscow Junior Blue Devils 6-5 Monday evening in American Legion baseball action.
The Cougars (20-10-1, 12-2) scored half their runs in the fifth — one on a double-steal, another on a wild pitch and yet another on an RBI single by Elliott Lee. Gavin Shrope led Whitman County with two RBI.
Without giving up an earned run, Bendel went 3 1/3 innings to earn the win.
“Joe is a kid who, man, he just needs a chance to go do something,” Cougars coach Pat Doumit said of Bendel.
“And when he gets that (opportunity), he’s good. He shows up. He’s been very helpful for us all summer, whether it’s big hits at the bottom of the lineup or coming in to eat up some innings (on the mound) and tonight he was exceptional.
“This was his best work on the mound all summer.”
Putting the finishing touches on the win, the Cougars’ Lee, also in relief, induced a groundout to first to strand two Junior Blue Devils on base.
Doumit lauded his team’s defense for making a number of plays throughout the game.
“Our defense was really, really strong in this one,” Doumit said. “The left side of our infield, with Marcus Hilliard at third and Elliott Lee at short stop, has been really fun to watch. Marcus made a brilliant play on a one-hop through the six hole — that was a next-level play by Marcus tonight.
“And (outfielder) Brendan (Doumit) made two diving catches in left (field), the first to end the sixth inning and the second was the second out of the seventh inning, on a line drive down the left field line.”
Two of the Cougars’ catchers, Nick Robison and Cody Inderrieden, gunned down Junior Blue Devils attempting to steal third.
“So all-in-all, one of our better defensive outings on the season,” Doumit said.
Moscow Junior Blue Devils 001 301 0—5 4 4
Whitman County Cougars 001 230 x—6 6 2
Tyler Howard, Preston Boyer (4), Jacob Skiles (5) and Jack Bales. Nick Strenge, Joe Bendel (4), Elliott Lee (7) and Nick Robison, Anthony Becker (3), Cody Inderrieden (5).
Moscow Junior Blue Devils hits — Tyler Howard, Garrett Farrell, Jacob Skiles, Ayden Kelly (2B).
Whitman County Cougars hits — Brendan Doumit, Marcus Hilliard, Nick Robison (2B), Elliott Lee, Colin Dreewes, Gavin Shrope (2B).
Area athletes rake in honors
Colton had six players make the Washington Class 1B all state softball team when the Washington State Softball Coaches Association released its honor roll on Monday.
Earning that honor for the Wildcats were Emily Schultheis (pitcher), Maggie Pluid (infielder), Jordyn Moehrle (infielder), Abby Kelly (catcher) and Josie Schultheis (utility).
Pomeroy’s Emma Severs and Natalie Bryson made first team as an infielder and outfielder, respectively, while teammate Heidi Heytvelt was an honorable mention as a pitcher. Garfield-Palouse’s Kenzi Pedersen was a first team outfielder. And at the 2A level, Hallie McDougle of Pullman was an honorable mention third baseman.
WSU trio honored
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Madison Odiorne, Elodie Bridenne, and Amy Chu of the Washington State womens’ golf team nabbed Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar honors, the organization announced Monday.
UI’s Hall and Ferenz Big Sky scholar athletes
OGDEN, Utah — Recent University of Idaho graduates Ed Hall, a football player, and Mikayla Ferenz, a women’s basketball player, each received the 2018-19 Big Sky Conference Scholar-Athlete Award, the conference announced on Monday. To qualify for the award, an athlete must have a minimum grade-point-average of 3.2.
VandalStore becomes official online retailer of Vandal athletics
MOSCOW — The University of Idaho announced on Monday that VandalStore will become the official online store of the school’s athletic department.
“We are thrilled to join forces with an outstanding campus partner to bring our fans the best in game day gear,” UI interim athletic director Pete Isakson said.