Hood River Valley’s difficult initiation into the Intermountain Conference continued Tuesday with a 5-4 home loss to Pendleton.
The Eagles finished the season on a 12-game conference losing streak, and while few expected the Eagles to make the playoffs, even fewer picked them to finish 2-12 in the IMC (5-20 overall).
“There is definitely some talent on the ballclub, but for whatever reason, things never came together for us this season,” said second-year head coach Gerry Flink, who retired after Tuesday’s game.
“It was a combination of having some missed plays on defense and not getting the timely hit when we needed it. The pitchers did a great job all year, but we didn’t back them up very well with our offense,” he said.
Senior Jarrod Fogle pitched well in his final outing Tuesday, giving up five hits and two earned runs in going the distance.
Official hitting numbers were not available at press time.
HRV was up 3-1 going into the fourth inning, but three unearned runs allowed Pendleton to take a 4-3 lead.
The Eagles tied it in the fourth on a squeeze play, but allowed another unearned run to score in the sixth.
“That’s just baseball,” Flink said. “Sometimes you can’t explain why things happen. But this just wasn’t our year.”
Flink, who has been coaching in the HRV baseball program for 22 years, chose to retire so he could spend more time with his youngest daughter, Meghan, a sophomore at HRVHS.
“It’s just time for a change,” he said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, and my time to leave is now.”