Baseball lacks experience, but knows how to win

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

Husky baseball is young and inexperienced on the varsity baseball field this year, fielding only three players who have any varsity experience at all; but lurking behind that snapshot of this team is a group of athletes who are used to winning.

Of those three, only senior Trevor Tagle and junior Kyle Pettit played varsity exclusively last year, Coach Dan Tow said. Joey Ellis swung last year, but played mostly junior varsity.

Seniors Brett Miller and Derrick Ward are newcomers to the varsity squad. They are joined by Skyler Bascom, Chaz Davis, Adam Hummer, Adam Matuszak, Robby Wallace and Greg Sipe.

“Certainly, we’re inexperienced as far as a varsity club goes,” Tow said, but last year’s junior varsity had the best league record in the Capital Conference, finishing with only two or three losses. “They’re accustomed to winning ball games, but the jump from junior varsity to varsity is fairly substantial.”

The team works hard and is fun to work with, Tow said. “I think we’ll improve game to game. I think that’s true of younger teams.”

Last year’s team ended third in league. It held off Sisters in league playoffs to earn a third-seed birth at state playoffs. Henley eliminated the Huskies from state playoffs. Nine seniors graduated from that team, which finished 8-7 in league.

“Almost everyone (North Marion, Sisters, Cascade and Stayton) returns their top pitcher from last year,” Tow said. Sweet Home and Molalla will field new pitching staff.

“North Marion’s probably the favorite,” Tow said. “They usually are.”

North Marion lost a number of players to graduation last year, “but they return Kyle Miller, who’s a really good pitcher,” and the team picked up another good pitcher transferring in from Canby.

Stayton and Cascade will both be good, Tow said, and Sisters should be good. Although some veterans did not return this year, Sisters will still field its top pitcher and best hitter, who also pitches.

The Capital Conference is balanced, Tow said. “North Marion may be the favorite, but to me they don’t stand out as being dominant like they have been in past years.”

Tow thinks it unlikely any Capital Conference team will make it through league without multiple losses, he said. “We can compete with all of them. Some of them have an advantage in terms of experience,” but games will be like they have been historically in the conference, one- or two-run games, “typically very competitive — not a lot of blowouts.”

“It comes down to who executes the best and who gets the breaks one way or another.”

Tow is anxious to see how his team will stack up against the conference, he said. A tough non-league schedule against some of the best teams in the state should provide a good picture of that.

On the field, Pettit will return to the mound. Joining him will be Hummer, Wallace and Sipe. Miller has thrown in the past and could some action there.

Ellis and Davis will catch. Wallace, Davis and Bascom at first base; Sipe, Matuszak and Miller in the middle infield; and Hummer at third will round out the infield with utility players Davis and Bascom. With an arm injury, Bascom will not play defense to start the season.

Tagle, Ward, Bascom and Davis will play outfield, along with Pettit when he is not pitching.

Guy Smith and Rick Hummer are assistant coaches.

Junior varsity is coached by Craig Wilson and includes Shane Jakeway, Higor Martinez, Sean Anderson, Matt Huenergardt, Ray Lingenfelter, Miles Boudreaux, Nathanial Goodwin, Tyler Horner, Dustin Horn, Steven Jones, Brinden Sanders and Josh Slay.

The freshmen are coached by Matt Matuszak and include Brandon Faulconer, Eric Florek, Jake Hepler, Shelby Johnston, Jake McCollum, Keith Moffitt, Tanner Neal, Brandon Oswalt, Brian Palkki, Garrett Pedersen, Paul Torres, Brad Valloni, Richard Venable, Tyler White, Sam Whitehead and Alex Whitlow.

Baseball

Schedule may be subject to change. If in doubt, check weekly schedule in The New Era.

Tuesday, March 14 Marist 4 p.m.

Tuesday, March 14 JV at Marist TBA

Thursday, March 16 Elmira 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 16 JV at Elmira 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 18 Newport (V/JV) Noon

Saturday, March 18 Frosh at Newport Noon

Monday, March 20 Frosh at Cascade 4 p.m.

Tuesday, March 21 At Sisters 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 23 Cascade 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 25 At Junction City Noon

Monday, March 27 Douglas Noon

Monday, March 27 JV at Douglas Noon

Monday, April 3 Molalla (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 4 At Molalla 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 6 At Stayton 4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 7 Stayton (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 11 North Marion 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 13 Sisters 4:30 p.m.

Friday, April 14 At North Marion (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Monday, April 17 Cascade (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 18 At Cascade 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 19 Molalla (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 20 Molalla 4:30 p.m.

Monday, April 24 At Stayton (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 25 Stayton 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 26 North Marion (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 27 At North Marion 4:30 p.m.

Monday, May 1 At Cascade (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 2 At Sisters 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 4 Cascade 4:30 p.m.

Friday, May 5 Stayton (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Monday, May 8 Molalla (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 9 At Molalla 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 11 At Stayton 4:30 p.m.

Friday, May 12 At North Marion (Frosh) 4:30 p.m.

Monday, May 15 North Marion 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 17 Tiebreaker TBA

Friday, May 19 5 vs. 4 at 3 site 2 p.m.

Winner vs. 3 at 3 site 5 p.m.

Monday, May 22 State First Round TBA

Wednesday, May 24 State Second Round TBA

Friday, May 26 State Quarterfinal TBA

Tuesday, May 30 State Semifinal TBA

Saturday, June 3 State Final TBA

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