When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
And the going got a lot tougher for the Hood River Valley baseball team Tuesday when the Pendleton Buckaroos put up six unearned runs to win the Intermountain Conference matchup, 7-3.
Senior Ryan Pratt pitched a "great game," according to coach Gerry Flink, but seven errors sealed the Eagles' fate, and caused them to drop their fourth straight league game after a 2-0 start.
"We gave them six runs, and that was the difference in the game," said Flink, whose team committed six errors in game two of last Saturday's doubleheader with Mountain View after going five games with no more than one miscue.
"We let the ball get by us too many times with runners in scoring position," he said, "and when you mix a walk with a couple errors in an inning, the other team is going to score some runs."
The Eagles (5-12, 2-4 IMC) stayed even with the Buckaroos through four innings. But, with the score tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth, Pendleton scored three unearned runs with two outs.
The Bucks added their only earned run of the game in the sixth to finish off the Eagles, who managed just four hits behind Pratt (6 IP, 4 H, 5 K,3 BB).
"Our hitting woes continue," Flink said. "We thought we could get to their pitcher after one time through the lineup, but we just couldn't get that key basehit when we needed to capitalize."
Heath Goin and Bryan Nishimoto had two of the team's four hits — both for RBI's — in the top of the third inning. But, unfortunately for the Eagles, that was their most productive offensive inning since they faced Summit on April 12.
The Eagles are batting roughly .215 as a team in the IMC (.220 before Tuesday), but Flink believes his team will turn things around and get back in the playoff hunt, starting with a double-header today at Crook County.
"The kids are still holding their heads up, and they still want to work hard," he said. "We're not out of the race yet."