By DAVE LEDER
News staff writer
BEND — Hood River Valley’s road back to respectability got a little bumpier last weekend with a pair of losses to first-place Bend High.
Four errors in game one and five more in game two overshadowed two otherwise solid efforts by the Eagles, who dropped to 0-6 in the Intermountain Conference (0-12 overall) with defeats of 5-2 and
“I thought we played ‘em tough in both games,” coach Jeff Lahti said. “Spencer (Munos) pitched great to give us a chance to win game one. But we had a few costly mistakes along the way and Bend took advantage.”
A defensive miscue early in game one allowed the Lava Bears to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. That lead held up until the sixth inning, when Bend tacked on three more to make it 5-0.
The HRV offense did its best to mount a comeback, with two runs in the seventh inning.
Sophomore centerfielder Chase Munos started off the seventh with a walk and scored on Brian Stenberg’s triple. The senior catcher then scored on an error with two outs to cut the lead to three.
However, the hole was too deep, and the more experienced Lava Bears escaped with their fourth IMC victory.
“We played well enough that it could have been 0-0 going into the sixth inning,” Lahti said. “They were a good-hitting ballclub, but we made them work hard to beat us. I was encouraged to see us play them so well on the road.”
Spencer Munos, a junior pitcher/outfielder, had his best outing of the season in game one, giving up just five hits on 84 total pitches. Lahti said he had been saving Munos for the stretch run, but with the Eagles in desperate need of a win, he decided there was no time like the present to use his ace.
“Spencer shut them down and really kept us in the game,” Lahti said. “If he can give us more starts like that, we are going to get ourselves a couple wins in this league before it’s all over.”
Last Saturday’s game two didn’t have as many positives as game one, but Lahti said he was still proud of his guys for sticking with it. Bend scored two runs in the first and one in the third, before breaking it open in the fourth with four more.
Sophomore Jordan Peldyak started the game on the mound, but Lahti said he didn’t have his best stuff that day. Junior Colby Richards relieved him in the third, while sophomore Rob Kloster completed the final three frames.
Bend stroked 14 basehits in the game, highlighted by senior Morgan Flint’s homerun. The Eagles tagged five hits of their own, but they were offset by a five errors.
“We just had a couple bad innings in game two,” Lahti said. “The score didn’t show how hard we were playing. This team isn’t ready to give up on the season, and they showed me that on Saturday.”
The Eagles visited their Columbia Gorge rivals, The Dalles-Wahtonka, on Tuesday (results not yet available), and will host a double-header against fourth-place Summit on Saturday. HRV defeated both teams in 2004, splitting a double-header with Summit and beating The Dalles, 10-4.
The Eagles-Indians, who are new to the IMC this year, won game two of an April 16 double-header against Mountain View (9-5) and also beat Hermiston earlier in the season.