HRV baseball season preview

Despite the HRV baseball team winning its third straight Columbia River Conference title last year, the boys season would end unusually.

The boys opened last year’s OSAA 5A State Championships with a loss in the opening round.

Both years before, the boys advanced to the State Championship game, and in 2014-15 the Eagles won it all bringing home a 5A state title.

Even with the early exit from the playoffs last year, the team did have a great season — and have high hopes this season as they return 10 of the 18 players on last year’s roster.

Last year, the Eagles ended on top of the CRC with a 10-2 record and were a total of 19-8 on the season, earning them an official OSAA rank of sixth in the state.

Of the Eagles 10 projected returners, four are seniors: Trevor Lariza, a utility player (a player who can play several different positions); JJ Mears, utility player; Trenton Hough, utility player; and Connor Coerper, first basemen and right-handed pitcher.

The other six projected returners for the Eagles: Caden Leiblein, junior utility player; Michael Hasegawa, junior infielder; Isaac Beaman, junior infielder; Brandon Rivera, junior outfielder; Ryan Gray, sophomore catcher; and Greyson Losee, sophomore infielder and right-handed pitcher.

With eight spots for head coach Erich Harjo to fill by the start of the regular season on March 13, it should be an easy transition for the new additions.

Mears and Coerper were a part of that 2015-16 baseball team that advanced to the state championship game, which will help everyone on this year’s team as it keeps a championship mindset in the locker room.

And the other eight returners to the varsity roster know where this program wants to be as they’ve seen it when baseball won it all in 2014-15, but have yet to experience that moment themselves, which will keep the competitive spirit alive.

This year, the boys will open their season with a three-game homestand.

The first of the three-game home stretch for HRV comes against Barlow on March 13. The first pitch of the Eagles baseball season is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

The boys will follow up with their home match against Barlow with games versus Gresham and Wilsonville on March 15-16.

Baseball will play seven games before league gets underway for the Eagles, as they open league play on the road in Hermiston on April 14 with a double-header.

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