‘All baseball’ spring break preps Eagles for league

Hood River Valley High School varsity baseball spent last week playing and watching baseball on the sunny fields of Phoenix, Ariz., in the first spring break trip the team has taken in several years.

With suntans and quite a bit more experience to show for the trip, the team returns to the heart of the spring season with big games this week at Jesuit (April 2) and Bend (April 6) and another next week vs. Redmond (home April 9, 4:30 p.m.) before starting league play April 12 at Pendleton.

“It was all baseball,” coach Erich Harjo said of the trip. “We played four games and watched a lot more, including Diamondbacks, Royals and Cubs games.”

Playing in the Coach Bob National Invitational, the HRV boys went 1-3, losing against teams from Fairview and Valor Christian in Colorado and Farmington, N.M., and defeating Alexander Dawson of Colo.

“All of our losses were close games; they were good losses, if you can call a loss good,” Harjo said. “Our games exposed a lot of things we need to work on, which is good because we have time in the season to do it. We have a lot of little things that we need to improve on, and having the time now to fix them should make a big difference once we get to our league schedule.”

Harjo said The Dalles-Wahtonka looks like the team to beat in the Columbia River Conference. The Eagle-Indians lead CRS standings with a 9-2 record and a seven-game winning streak as of Tuesday. Hermiston is second at 5-2 , followed by Hood River at 5-4 and Pendleton at 4-5.

“We’re more experienced a team than I’ve had in the past,” Harjo said. “The focus, mentality, depth and ability to have role players this season are much higher than in recent years. If we can put together good execution in later innings and execution in pitching we’ll have a shot at the league title.”

HRV’s pitching staff is deep this season, with Ty Bofferding, a senior, taking the lead role and junior Alex Jiminez and sophomores Ryan Ward and Danny Romero stepping up to start on the mound as well. Seniors Luke Kopecky (center field), Kyle Beam (catcher) and Ryan Colesar (short stop) are taking roles as team leaders. Offensively, Beam leads the team in all categories and is currently hitting over .500.

In his fourth season as the Eagles’ varsity head coach, Harjo is now working with his first batch of four-year players under his coaching. He says his long-term strategy is starting to show fruit and that players are starting to buy into his approach more and more.

“I’ve worked really hard the last few years on certain concepts, and it’s nice to see this season that some of those are really starting to take hold,” he said.

Arizona tournament highlights

March 26 vs. Fairview: 2-1 loss

HRV had 5 hits; Bofferding pitched 6.2 innings with four strikeouts and 20 first-pitch strikes; Kam Walker had two hits; Kyle Beam had 1 RBI; HRV scored one in the sixth, Fairview scored one in the first and one in the fourth for the win.

March 27 vs. Valor Christian: 7-6 loss

HRV had 10 hits; Alex Jiminez led on the mound with three strikeouts in two innings while Riley Van Hoose had two strikeouts in two innings; Beam and Kellan Duffy had two hits each; Duffy and Nick Weekly had two RBI each; HRV scored one in the first, one in the third, one in the fourth and three in the seventh. Valor had two in the third and made a comeback with five in the seventh to take the win.

March 28 vs. Dawson: 12-0 win

HRV had 11 hits; Ryan Ward had five strikeouts in five innings; Kam Walker, Duffy and Ryan Colesar led the team with two hits apiece; Duffy, Colesar and Skyler Hunter each had two RBI; HRV scored one in the first, eight in the second, one in the third and two in the fourth to end the game in five innings.

March 29 vs. Farmington: 9-6 loss

HRV had 12 hits; Danny Romero and Bofferding teamed up on the mound in the effort; Walker led the team with three hits while Beam and Ward had two apiece; Beam and Colesar each had two RBI; HRV scored two in the first, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to overcome a five-run first inning from Farmington and force extra innings. Farmington scored three in the ninth to nab the win.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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