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Ranger bats silent against Bellevue
"BREMERTON - Depending on how you look at it, the Olympic College baseball team came close to sweeping Saturday's doubleheader against Bellevue.And, depending on how you look at it, the Rangers' 0-4 weekend moved them close to the edge in terms of a playoff spot.OC dropped two games to the Helmsmen Saturday that coach Corky Franklin called winnable, then bowed twice Sunday to Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Northern Division leader Edmonds. The fruitless weekend left the Rangers with a 2-7 division record, 8-10 overall.Good enough to still think about a conference playoff berth? Or bad enough to start thinking about next year.It's a silly old cliche, but we've just got to go one game at a time, Franklin said Monday. I think we can come back, but I don't know. I don't know what kind of character this team has.I threw it out there (Sunday) as a kind of a challenge to them, Franklin said of the Rangers' playoff potential. We'll see how they respond.OC travels to Tacoma for a non-division game this afternoon (3 p.m.), then plays two on the road Saturday against Shoreline - the only team currently lower than the Rangers on the five-team Northern Division ladder.If they're to stay viable for a playoff spot, even at this early juncture, the Rangers will have to find their offense, which was pretty much absent over the weekend.They had 10 total hits in their 4-3 and 6-1 losses to Bellevue at Legion Field, then were out-hit 22-10 in their two games at Edmonds, which they lost by scores of 7-1 and 12-1.I just think we haven't been getting it done with the sticks, Franklin said of the offense. We've been playing OK, and we've been pitching pretty well. We expected Josh Wilson, Jon D'Amore and Ryan Donaldson to be pretty dependable for us, and so far they have.Donaldson went six innings and took the loss in Saturday's opener, when Jeremy Guffie stopped OC on just three hits - with seventh-inning relief help from Olympic High School alum Scott Fairbanks.D'Amore got one out in the seventh inning of Game 2 and had the Rangers within two runs, 3-1. But doubles by Jeremy Gauthier and Ryan Mummert scored BCC's fourth run, and Mike McRae's single to left chased D'Amore. Central Kitsap freshman Eric Dickinson whiffed Joel Villalobos for the second out, but an infield error allowed another run and Chris Pugmire singled in another for a 6-1 lead.There were signs of offensive life in the bottom of the eighth when pinch-hitter Ryan O'Connell and second baseman Kyle Baumgartner led off with back-to-back singles. But Adam Lindner grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, and pinch-hitter Matt Densley struck out to end the inning. The Rangers went quietly in the ninth.They had a pretty good pitcher (in the second game), Franklin said of sophomore left-hander David Waack, who pitched at OC two years ago. He threw a good game, and we didn't get much started against him.Waack went eight strong innings, giving up all seven OC hits before Jeremy Lockridge came on to close things out in the ninth.Against Edmonds, Wilson and Jon Clapper combined for a six-hitter in the opener. But the Tritans nicked Wilson for all seven of their runs in a fifth-inning rally, while the Rangers' only run came from D'Amore's solo home run in the sixth.NOTES: Fairbanks, a 1999 OHS graduate, played at Edmonds CC last year. At Bellevue, he is reunited with former Trojan batterymate Brian Roadruck - who didn't play in Saturday's doubleheader. "