The Bend Elks wrapped up their final home game of the season Thursday night.
“It’s like watching a college all-star game in a lot of ways because all these kids are from really good schools playing their hearts out and live baseball on a summer afternoon,” said Elks fans Lane Lyons. How are you going to beat that.”
It was a packed house at Vince Genna stadium one last time.
“It is the last game of the year, and it is a great family event with the kids, and I am expecting these two teams to play like it is their last game and leave it all on the field,” said Lyons.
The baseball team needs a perfect storm to make the playoffs.
“We are sitting on the outside of the playoff picture right now, but I mean, we have four games left to do it,” said Elks infielder Derek Gellos. “We still control our own destiny. So, can’t ask for anything more than that.”
The last time Bend made the playoffs was 2015, and that year they won the whole thing. Elks head coach Joey Wong says the Portland Pickles are the team ahead of them in the postseason race.
“We’re about three games back with four to play,” said Wong. “So, we got to do a lot of winning. At least three in the next four games, and we need them to lose at least three. So, we got the tie-breaker with them. We took care of business the two series we played them. So, if we can get to that equal record, then we’ll have that tie-breaker.”
It was one last home game hoorah for the players.
“Better be electric,” said middle infielder Tyler Peterson. “Better be electric because this team is electric.”
Some fans came from all over.
“I am with the Juneau (Alaska) All-Star team, and we are here because we are year for the Northwest Juniors All-Star tournament, and we thought it would be fun to see an Elks game,” said Juneau All-Star Garrett McGuan.
Fans at the game had all the same hope.
“We are here to see a big win and here to see them take some wins into the playoffs,” said Elks fan Dustin Elmor.
“From the pitching I’ve seen, I think they can do it, but as you said, they need a few things to fall in place first, but if they do, I think they will have a lot of fans come out,” said Lyons.
The Elks closed out the series and the last home game against the Springfield Drifters with a 10-2 victory. Only three more games left to go.
The Elks play their next three games at Cowlitz, Washington, against the Black Bears. The Pickles also lost Thursday, meaning Bend is inching closer to a playoff berth.