Photo by Ben Mitchell
THE EAGLES had a great afternoon/evening in a game against Wilsonville on Wednesday, with HRV defeating the Wildcats 8-2. HRV went up 5-0 in the first inning, thanks in part to Chase Lariza, who hit a two-run homer — the first home run of the senior’s high school career. He then hit another over the wall at Traner Field in the bottom of the third to give HRV its first multi-homer game since Kellan Duffy hit two in a contest with La Salle on March 20, 2015.
As of Friday, April 8, 2016
In a season where HRV has seen more than its fair share of games decided by a single run, Wednesday’s game with Wilsonville was a welcome departure from that trend.
The Eagles (8-3) had their most lopsided victory against a 5A opponent so far this season, defeating the visiting Wildcats (5-4) 8-2 in a game that was pretty much all HRV, who roared out to a 5-0 start in the bottom of the first inning and kept Wilsonville at bay the rest of the game. Down 8-0, the Wildcats managed just a pair of runs in the top of the sixth for their only scores of the night. HRV’s defeat of Wilsonville snapped a four-game win streak for the Wildcats.
The offensive onslaught was spurred in large part by senior outfielder/designated hitter Chase Lariza, who hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first to plate Andrew Roberts and then had a walk-off homer in the bottom of the third to tally a team-high three RBI. Both balls hit by Lariza sailed over the right field wall of Traner Field as the HRV dugout bench emptied to greet Lariza as he jogged around the bases. It was the third home run hit by HRV this season (the other was hit by Adam Cameron March 24), but it was the first (and second) home run hit by Lariza in his high school career. It was HRV’s first multi-homer game since March 20, 2015, when Kellan Duffy hit two in a 14-5 win over La Salle.
"(Lariza) was due for a big game. It was about time for him to break out...’
“He was due for a big game,” HRV Head Coach Erich Harjo said of Lariza. “It was about time for him to break out and he made some big adjustments with his swing in practice… he had a phenomenal game and took advantage of some hitter’s pitches and connected well.”
Lariza’s first homer capped off a productive first inning that began with Dallas Buckley, who had gotten on base due to a walk, advanced home on a throw. HRV capitalized on a defensive breakdown by the Wildcats once again when Patrick Harvey advanced home on an error committed by Wilsonville’s third baseman. The next play, Wilsonville committed another error, allowing Andrew Roberts to reach first and Andy Schmidt to score and make it 3-0.
Also scoring for HRV was Kellan Duffy, who made it home after Connor Coerper reached first on a fielder’s choice to shortstop. In addition to Lariza, Harvey and Skyler Hunter did well at the dish, going 2-for-3 (singles) and 2-for-4 (single, double).
While the Eagles’ offense was impressive, so was the team’s defense. HRV allowed just three hits and was anchored by the pitching of Coerper, who had his best game on the mound this season. Coerper tossed six innings and had a season-high 11 strikeouts, as well as giving up just three hits and two earned runs. Isaiah Enriquez finished off the last inning, striking out one and giving up none in the hits or earned runs columns.
“It can be a real deflater (to the other team) to have a guy on the mound that is that commanding,” Harjo said of Coerper. “He just goes right out there and competes and tries to get quick outs… he’s been real tough.”
HRV was scheduled to play Mountain View (4-5) on the road Friday at 4:30 p.m. (results not available at press time) and then complete its nonleague season Wednesday with a game at Redmond (6-2). The Eagles’ Columbia River Conference schedule will start next Saturday with a doubleheader against Pendleton (8-3) that begins at noon.