Baseball squad opens with win over Elmira

Wayne Spinney

For The New Era

Opening week included games against playoff teams from last year for the Sweet Home Husky baseball team, who began their 2004 campaign with contests against three non-league teams.

?We knew we?d find out pretty quickly what this team was made of,? said Coach Dan Tow. ?Every team we had scheduled made the playoffs last year.?

Sweet Home 9 Elmira 1

Opening day jitters came and went in the first inning for the Huskies as Brandon Martin lined a two strike pitch into left field for a double, scoring Travis Smith. Martin eventually scored what amounted to the winning run, giving Cody Miller all he needed to notch his first win of the season.

?Miller threw four very good innings today,? said Tow. ?I was pleased with our defense and our hitting too.?

Smith, Martin, and senior infielder Tim Matuszak lead the attack with two hits apiece. Lance Carter and Smith closed out the game in relief as Husky pitchers yielded only four hits and no earned runs in the win.

Marist 10 Sweet Home 3

On Wednesday, the Huskies traveled to Marist and ran up against another 2003 playoff team with great promise for this year. Martin was the only Husky hitter to figure out Spartan pitching, with a pair of hits, but he also took the loss surrendering five runs in the bottom of the second while starting his first game on the mound.

?We just didn?t get anything going with the bats, but I have to give their starting pitcher credit; he did a nice job,? added Tow.

The Huskies were stymied throughout as Marist pitchers had seven strikeouts and yielded only two hits. Nevertheless, the Huskies still had ten runners on the base paths due to Spartan control problems but could never capitalize.

?We had some chances to score but just couldn?t get it done,? said Tow. ?We had runners on in every inning and left them all stranded.?

Newport 15.14 Sweet Home 0.7

The visiting Cubs used the long ball four times as Smith and Martin were both rocked for home runs in game one, which was called after five innings. Newport pounded the ball for twenty seven hits in the two games and also got some solid pitching in downing the Huskies.

Game two was still a close game in the fifth inning, but Newport scored four runs off Husky reliever Lance Carter. They Cubs pretty much capped off the win when starting pitcher Robert Stevens went deep to widen the margin in the sixth inning. They added three more in the seventh. Matuszak showed signs of his power at the plate with a two-run blast of his own in the bottom of the sixth to draw the Huskies closer.

?It felt good to make contact like that,? said Matuszak. ?I?ve felt like I was rushing at the plate, but I?m starting to feel more comfortable hitting now. I?m glad I came back to play baseball; this is fun.?

Still, Matuszak?s dinger was too little too late for the Huskies, who closed the week dropping three out of four to some of the better 3A teams in the state. They will return from the break with another twin bill slated in Junction City on Saturday the 27th. Hopefully they will rediscover the hitting and pitching that led them to an opening day victory.