HOOD RIVER It was not all pretty, but Hermiston baseball earned its third straight win against Hood River Valley 6-4 on Tuesday to finish the teams four-game league series up 3-1 over the Eagles.
Using five pitchers, Hermiston (15-5, 7-1 CRC) started with freshman Alex Campbell (3-1), who did not disappoint. Throwing three strikeouts in four innings, he allowed four hits and kept Hood River Valley from opening a seven-run inning like the Eagles did in their 10-5 victory over Hermiston last Wednesday.
Our pitchers battled, said coach Brent Mattson. They maintained their composure because our defense played poorly. They kept pounding the strike zone and forcing Hood River to put the ball in play.
Tommy Bevington earned his sixth save of the year and had two strikeouts in the seventh inning.
Hermiston led 5-1 after two innings and never relinquished its lead. Amid substandard Bulldogs defense, the team still manged to pull of highlight reel-worthy plays.
One eye-popper was an around-the-horn double play that started with Camran Pollick. Hood River Valley knocked on Hermistons door with runners on bases, only to leave the fifth inning scoreless.
In the sixth inning the Eagles tried sneaking in a run by drawing a throw to second base while another runner stole home. Hermiston defended it to perfection.
Our second baseman Tommy Bevington ran right to the cut of the grass so that when our pitcher, Tim Rude, threw him the ball, he was able to tag the guy immediately and stop a run, Mattson said.
Five of Hermistons six runs came from RBI singles by Tate Gabriel, Jeremy Holden (2 for 4), Pollick and Bevington (2 for 4).
Hermistons final four-game Columbia River Conference series will be against OSAA No. 1-ranked Pendleton, which also holds a 7-1 league record. The rivalry battle will start with a doubleheader in Pendleton on Saturday at 3 p.m.