Hood River Valley High School varsity baseball’s run of offensive ascendancy came to an abrupt halt Tuesday in a sluggish 4-2 loss against Barlow. The home game brought the Bruins, now 1-2 on the season, to HRVHS for a cold afternoon at Traner Field following three blowout victories for the Eagles.
Starting senior pitcher Ty Bofferding went the distance on the mound, tallying four strikeouts and 22 first-pitch strikes while giving up eight hits in seven innings.
Both teams were scoreless for the first three innings. HRV third baseman Kellan Duffy gets credit for fast hands and solid defense to close the second inning with an off-balance backhand snag and across-the-field throw and a leaping snow-cone snag to close out the third.
Barlow put two runs on the board in the fourth in a rally highlighted by a stand-up triple and a sacrifice grounder that got the Bruins on their feet in the dugout. HRV answered in the fourth with some hitting of their own, but for the second time in the game were denied scoring position by getting thrown out trying to steal second base.
The Bruins scored two more in the fifth in a two-out rally that challenged Bofferding’s consistency and brought coach Erich Harjo and catcher Kyle Beam to the mound for a quick conversation. Bofferding held tough and closed out the inning with men on base, thanks in large part to two full-sprint snags by right fielder Aaron Perez.
Heads-up plays in the sixth inning by Beam, Alex Jiminez and Kam Walker saved HRV from further damage after Barlow opened the inning with hits that put runners on first and second. The Eagles finally got on the board in the bottom of the same inning with a rally started by a lead-off double by Ryan Colesar, who stole third the following play to get into scoring position. Beam knocked Colesar in with a fly to left center for the RBI.
Bofferding closed out the Barlow’s final inning with little incident, giving the Eagles one final chance to make a comeback as foul weather started blowing in from the west. Duffy got the team fired up with a walk-off home run over the center field fence that surprised even him. Luke Kopecky followed with a line drive single and Walker was nicked by a pitch to get on base. Chances for the comeback were quickly much more tangible after Perez laid down a textbook sacrifice bunt to advance runners to second and third with two outs.
Barlow pitcher Cameron Hawkins tallied his sixth strikeout in three innings to end the game.
The Eagles were scheduled to host Summit High School Thursday but changed at the last minute and traveled to play the Storm on its home turf in Bend. Hood River bounced back from Tuesday’s loss with an 8-3 win. (Details in the March 27 Hood River News.)