Baseball Roundup 2

Last week the Sweet Home varsity baseball team earned a split as they faced off against two Capital Conference foes that were headed in opposite directions. They won a high scoring game against last place Sisters but were shut-out at home by the first place Huskies from North Marion.

Sweet Home 13 Sisters 8

The Outlaws graduated ten seniors from last years team, seven made the league’s all-star team. Head Coach Dan Tow knew that his charges would be facing a young squad and didn’t want to underestimate his Tuesday opponent. Pretty much everyone on the team slept during the bus ride over the pass and Tow was concerned about their readiness to play.

Nevertheless, Sweet Home was roused and running early as they scored five times in the top of the first. Sisters answered with four in their half of the inning though. After another five run rally in the top of the fourth Sweet Home was out to a seven run lead and Coach Tow was hoping for an early bus trip home. He knew better though.

“I was thinking we might ten-run them at that point, but for some reason we don’t do anything the easy way this year,” said Tow. “We let them right back in the game by giving them three unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth!”

Starter Brandon Martin pitched well while surrendering eight runs on nine hits. Only one of the runs was earned as Husky errors (6) contributed to Tow’s anxiety.

“We had a bunch of important hits in the game, but our defense wasn’t up to par,” said Tow. “We’re going to have to play a lot better than that in the field if we’re going to make a run at a top spot this year.”

Tim Faulconer, Cody Miller and Travis Smith had two hits each and Tim Matuszak drove in three runs with his bat. Lance Carter was again stellar in relief, throwing two innings of one-hit ball while striking out three Outlaw batters.

“We did a nice job taking advantage of what they gave us,” said Tow. “They had a lot of young kids playing, they made a lot of mistakes, and we forced them to pay for those mistakes by running the bases aggressively for the win.”

North Marion 2 Sweet Home 0

North Marion came into last week’s contest having scored forty three runs in three Capital Conference games. This game would be different though as one of the fastest games ever played at Husky Field saw the visitors use a first inning triple and a third inning sacrifice by Mike VanTassel to score twice and squeak out a hard fought two run victory.

“We played great defense, but we couldn’t push a run across. They got us out when they needed to,” said Tow.

Senior starter Cody Miller gave his best effort of the year in going the distance while striking out three and only walking one batter in the pitcher’s duel.

“We knew their starter wanted to work fast,” said Tow. “Our guys did a great job of breaking his concentration and routine. We must have called at least twenty time outs while we were batting, but he threw a lot of good pitches too.”

Faulconer again had two hits, one of which led off the seventh inning for the Huskies. Eventually the game came down to two men on with two outs in this nail-biter. Carter worked the count and drove a ball deep to left center field for the last out of the game. It was an exciting last at-bat in a quick seven inning, low scoring match-up.

“I knew that he didn’t quite get all of it. If he had gotten a little more of the ball we may have seen a walk-off win.” said Tow. “It was a near miss.”

With the team’s batting average hovering around the .300 mark it’s apparent that these Huskies can hit. Starting pitchers Miller and Martin have looked good, and they’ve gotten consistent and solid relief help from Carter. Defense has been touch and go, but there’s no doubt this team can run the bases. The Huskies are off to a solid start, unsatisfied with near misses.