North Lake Cowboys played a home doubleheader against Gold Beach on Saturday, April 27, in an afternoon that saw the Cowboys go 2-0. What’s even more impressive is that the Cowboys won both games by a combined score of 2 points, meaning both games were single-point victories, which show the resolve and mettle of the boys of North Lake.
Game one, which the Cowboys won 8-7, had most of its action in the first and final innings. Both teams started out hot, with the road team taking an early lead with 4 runs out the gate. The Cowboys answered with 3 of their own in the inaugural inning, but let the Panthers take control of the game with a 2-run third inning that expanded their lead to 2 heading into the final, deciding inning. It was then that the Cowboys finally caught their groove, holding the Panthers scoreless and winning the game in dramatic fashion with 2 runs to tie, and the final, game-winning run to end the first matchup between the two teams. David Ward was clutch with a 2-score homerun in the seventh inning, followed thereafter by a single and RBI by Cameron McCord that brought Matt Henkel home to win the game.
Game two picked up right where game one left off, with every inning as nail-biting as the one prior. The Panthers roared back with 6 first-inning runs, searing from their game one defeat. North Lake sputtered at first, scoring only twice in the first inning, but then battled back hard in a high-scoring second inning with 5 runs, making it a two-score game. With the Cowboys trailing 9-7 after the first two innings, they managed to saddle up and tie the game at the end of the seventh, and forcing an extra inning. The Panthers did their part to get the Cowboys off the plate in the final inning, and had the opportunity to put North Lake away for good in the eighth inning. Wyatt Smith hit a single that scored Ward and Josh Hand to tie the game before the Cowboys received their third out. After some stout defense in the eight inning, Daniel Libolt scored on a ground ball from Andrew Miles, which sealed the game for the Cowboys.