Hyder Family Dental endures road woes
As the competition and the weather heat up, the Hyder Family Dental baseball team is learning how to respond.
With five games left in its regular season, the Grizzlies possess a 9-8 overall record. Hyder has lost six of its last seven baseball games, three of which came at a tournament in Bend on June 26-29, as minor injuries and struggles in the field and at the plate have mounted.
“In general our pitching wasn’t real sharp and we just kind of gave them a lot of extra opportunities,” Hyder Family Dental assistant coach Morgan Flint said. “Our defense didn’t really play great. We had some good at-bats. Our sense of focus in general wasn’t real sharp. Honestly, I think the fact that our first real road trip of the year, going over to Bend, our guys were a little bit distracted.”
Adding to the malaise has been the absence of head coach Jordan Harlow, who fell ill after the Grizzlies’ 6-5, 8-inning win over Bend on June 26 and has been unable to coach the team since. (Harlow is expected to return for Hyder’s Monday game at Westview.)
On Tuesday, the Grizzlies came back from a two-run deficit against Aloha before allowing 10 runs in a four-inning span to fall, 12-3, to the Warriors.
Nathan Leid went 1-for-3 with an RBI for Hyder Family Dental. Leid’s sixth-inning groundout helped Adrian Uscanga score a run after Uscanga tripled to lead off the inning.
“He’s been having some good at-bats,” Flint said. “We’ve been really excited about his progress and where he’s at.”
Flint also highlighted the contributions of rising sophomore Brad Hessel, a shortstop, and his older brother Lane, a rising senior who has assumed most of the Grizzlies’ catching duties.
“(Hyder assistant coach Brent Trask has been working with him a lot,” Flint said. “We’re happy with Lane’s development behind the plate.”
Hyder Family Dental’s game at Westview on Monday is slated for a 6 p.m. start. The Grizzlies will host Columbia River in a 5 p.m. doubleheader at the McMinnville baseball field at Patton Middle School on Wednesday.
“It’s kind of nice that we’ll have a couple days off on the Fourth and get some guys healthy,” Flint said.