HOOD RIVER — After a 2-2 start in league play, no one on the HRV baseball team expected the road to get any easier.
With league powers Central Catholic and Barlow coming to town, the Eagles still had a difficult challenge ahead if they were to emerge from the stretch at .500.
But neither the Rams nor Bruins had any plans to let up for this upstart bunch, and pounded HRV 7-1 and 8-2, respectively.
“Our defense was spotty early against Central Catholic (Friday),” coach Gerry Flink said. “Four errors in the first got us into a big hole. Those guys are undefeated and don’t need any help from us.”
Zack Lucas pitched four quality innings before giving way to Danny Gilkerson in the fifth and sixth (1 1/3 innings), and Jarrod Fogle in the sixth and seventh
(1 2/3 innings).
But in the end, it was the team’s six errors — four in the first inning — compared to just five basehits that told the story.
“Our guys played right with ‘em the last five innings, but the bottom line is, we can’t win a ballgame if we score just one run,” Flink said. “We’re improving, though. Our guys are playing with a lot more confidence than they were earlier in the season.”
Monday’s matchup with undefeated Barlow was much cleaner on the stat sheet as the Eagles committed just two errors. However, they only managed to tally three basehits.
“Barlow threw their best guy against us and he had us off balance the entire day,” Flink said. “The word is out around the league that teams can’t take HRV lightly, and they came ready for us.”
Fogle pitched well the first two innings, setting down the first six batters with ease. But he came unraveled a bit in the five-run third, which was capped by a three-run homerun.
On the offensive side, Gilkerson continued his clutch hitting for the Eagles, driving in a big run in the third inning after Fogle reached on a walk and Tony Hull singled and stole second. Hull later scored on a fielder’s choice by Lucas.
HRV takes on hard-hitting Reynolds at home on Wednesday.