The Hood River Valley baseball team broke a seven-game losing streak on the road Saturday with a hard-hitting 13-5 win over 5A No. 11 ranked Hermiston. By the end of the day, however, the Bulldogs had reversed roles, claiming an 8-4 win to split the conference doubleheader. The teams continued their rivalry on Tuesday, when they faced each other for the third of four meetings this season Tuesday, at HRV. Despite outhitting Hermiston 10-8, the Eagles couldn’t muster enough runs to outdo a four-run first inning that gave Hermiston the early edge.
The recent results put the Eagles at 1-5 in the Columbia River Conference — a stat that is cushioned somewhat by the fact that all three of the other CRC teams are ranked among the state’s top 12 (as of Friday, The Dalles was No. 5, Pendleton No. 7 and Hermiston No. 11). The difficult road continues in the next couple weeks, as the team hosts The Dalles Saturday in a noon doubleheader, followed by a road game against the same team on Tuesday. With the likelihood of a playoff berth quickly diminishing, the boys look to close out the season in mid-May, with a final home game May 13 vs. Hermiston and a road game May 16 at The Dalles.
April 26 highlights
Game 1: Kellan Duffy clobbered two home runs, four hits and six RBI to lead the Eagles in Game 1 offense. In all they amassed 15 hits in the outing; Skyler Hunter, Alex Jimenez, Patrick Harvey and Riley Van Hoose chipped in with two hits each, while Hunter led with three scored runs in this three times at bat. Ryan Ward and Dallas Buckley shared time on the mound, with Ward pitching the bulk of the game and tallying seven strikeouts while giving up just four hits.
Game 2: A five-run fifth inning for the Bulldogs drove a stake through the Eagles’ hopes for a sweep of the doubleheader. The two teams matched hits, with nine apiece, but Hermiston, aided by three HRV errors, finished with the 8-4 win. Duffy threw two scoreless innings before handing things over to Connor Olson, who got the loss from the mound. Walker and Van Hoose led the offense with two hits apiece while Hermiston pitcher Nychal Gritz tallied 11 strikeouts in his complete game.
April 28 highlights
The Eagles cycled through five pitchers in Tuesday’s frustrating 7-4 loss. After an exciting first inning that saw Hermiston jump out with four runs, and HRV match the effort with three, scoring slowed down considerably for both teams. Hermiston held a 5-4 lead going into the seventh and scored two security runs to put the Eagles in a pickle with three outs left. Duffy flied out, Ward grounded out, Harvey Singled and Walker lined out in the last-ditch attempt. Harvey had the Eagles’ best at-bat statistics of the day, as he went 2-4 with two RBI, while Walker got the job done on the mound, pitching six innings,, striking out six and allowing just one run.