Nick Bonniksen and Owen MacKendrick combined on a eight-hitter Saturday and Zach Culp’s RBI single broke a fifth-inning tie as host El Dorado pushed past Ponderosa 2-1 in the twice delayed intra-county nonleague matchup of local schools.
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Bonniksen went the first four, allowing the sole Bruin run, while MacKendrick pitched the final three to out-duel Parker Wright’s six-inning effort. Wright, who scattered five hits, took the loss in the well-played game that went just past an hour and a half in length.
A base-running gaffe cost Ponderosa in the top of the first. After Matt Gould led off with a slicing double and was singled up by Logan Ito, Ryan Carey lined out to center for the apparent sacrifice fly to plate Gould but on appeal, Gould was ruled out for leaving early.
The Cougars took a 1-zip lead in the third, Culp walked and with one down advanced to second on shortstop Brett Pankow’s nice play in the hole for the second out. Wright had a base open with Matt Smith up to bat but elected to pitch to Smith and the Cougar right-fielder put a 1-2 offering off the fence in right for an RBI double.
Escaping that first-inning jam, Bonniksen settled in to retire eight of the next nine Ponderosa batters but not Shea McLinden who roped a rising liner over the left field fence.
The Bruins threatened to take the lead in the fifth in MacKendrick’s first inning as Jacob Hilliker reached on an infield single and Ito walked with two out. Carey, in another hard-luck at bat, stung the ball to left only to watch Mike Green retreat and make the grab.
Culp worked the count in his turn in the bottom half, fouling off several pitches, before singling to left to plate Adam Washabaugh whose lead-off double came inches from leaving the park.
MacKendrick, who got the win, danced out of trouble as Culp started an infield double play after McLinden (2-for-3) and Wright (2-for-3) had singled in the sixth.
Hilliker (2-for-3) singled to open the seventh and stole second but a shallow flyout, deep flyout that sent Hilliker to third and a game-ending groundout sealed the Cougars’ win.