By ADAM LAPIERRE
News staff writer
March 22, 2006
After a long stint of figurative bad weather and a near two-year losing streak, the Hood River Valley High School varsity baseball team looked to pick up its first win since May of 2004 on Monday evening. Under the leadership of new head coach Craig Webster, the boys jumped to an early 4-1 lead by the second inning of the Eagles’ home game against Portland’s Marshall High School.
But the Minutemen mounted a comeback in the fifth, taking advantage of a pitching transition and a couple of HRV errors to score four runs of their own. After losing the lead in a single inning and with the game tied 5-5 in the home stretch, the Eagles were faced with a challenge that they had not managed to overcome in the last two seasons.
But the Eagles are a new team.
In the bottom half of the same inning, the boys loaded the bases with a walk and two singles. Catcher Thomas Nichols stepped up to the plate and nailed a shot deep into the outfield, missing a grand slam by a couple feet. The two RBI’s put HRV up 7-5, which is how the game would end two innings later.
“It was a win, and that’s been a long time coming,” Webster said. “I think we could have stuck them earlier, but we had a lot of errors — we had four in the first three innings. But the boys didn’t give up; they stuck together and kept battling.”
Three pitchers saw action on the mound Monday. Jeremy Rowley took the start and pitched until the top of the fifth. Dylan Tiss relieved Rowley and pitched through the inning. Jordan Peldyak then closed out the game and got the save.
Highlighting the Eagles at the plate was Spencer Munoz, who went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI’s, Nichols, who had the two winning RBI’s and Elliott Sherrell, who had two RBI’s off a single in the second inning.
The first win of Webster’s tenure at HRV came after a 4-2 loss against Centennial and a tough showing at the West Linn Jamboree last week. The team tried to keep its winning alive this week with home games on Tuesday against Benson Polytechnic and Wednesday against Dallas High School.
The boys will then play its first Intermountain Conference game on Friday, at Pendleton High School.
“We’ll only have time to talk about what we need to work on before our next games,” Webster said. “We definitely have to revisit our baserunning … We can certainly play better, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
HOME vs. Dallas: 4 p.m.
March 24 —
at Pendleton: 4 p.m.
March 27 —
HOME vs. Milwaukie: 12 p.m.
March 29 —
HOME vs. Woodburn: 12 p.m.
March 31 —
HOME vs. Saint Helens: 4 p.m.