PORTLAND — Looking to snap a six-game skid and preserve a measure of pride for the seniors, the HRV baseball team took on Parkrose in its final game of the season last Friday.
But despite taking a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning, the Eagles were unable to hang on and lost a hard-fought 5-4 decision.
“Just like it’s been all year, we couldn’t take that one big step to get over the hump,” coach Gerry Flink said. “It’s a little disappointing for the seniors, I’m sure, but that’s just baseball I guess.”
HRV finished Mt. Hood Conference play with a 4-12 record to put them in a sixth-place tie with Parkrose — a team the Eagles beat at Traner Field on April 19. And although the team ended the season on a seven-game slide, the Eagles’ overall record showed great improvement over the 0-16 disaster that was 2001.
“The guys didn’t quit until the very end,” Flink said. “We’ve had some big setbacks the past few weeks, and to see them come in here and battle till the end really showed me a lot.”
HRV will graduate seven seniors, including three of its top pitchers. Danny Gilkerson got the start Friday and went four innings, giving up just one run. Sophomore Heath Goin pitched the final three innings and took the loss.
“Danny did a fine job in the first four innings,” Flink said. “Looking back, maybe I should have left him in there, but the bottom line is, our offense didn’t come through for us late in the ballgame.”
One player who got untracked Friday was senior Zack Lucas, who socked a mammoth homerun in the fourth inning to jumpstart HRV’s big rally. Gilkerson followed Lucas’ shot with a double to begin a hit parade that netted three more runs and put HRV up 4-1.
Parkrose quickly tied the game with three runs in the fifth, and then won it in the bottom of the seventh on a suicide squeeze.