Boys split non-league baseball contests

Sweet Home baseball (2-5) went 1-1 on the week in two non-league games, beating Cottage Grove 14-0 on the road Tuesday, March 29, but losing 11-1 at home to Gladstone on Thursday, March 31.

Senior Russ Holly had a great pitching performance against the Lions (2-6), throwing a complete game no-hitter with nine strikeouts in five innings on the mound. On offense, he hit a home run shy of a cycle, going 3-3 with a single, a double and a triple. Junior Casey Valloni also had a hot day at the plate, going 4-4 with two doubles.

“It was a great team win,” Head Coach John Best said. “Our hitters were relaxed and aggressive at the plate. Russ was in control on the mound and threw really well, commanding the strike zone.”

Sweet Home kept Gladstone (5-3) close early, but the Gladiator bats came alive in the fourth inning to put the game away. Taking a 3-1 lead into the top of the fourth, Gladstone scored eight runs that frame to push the score to 11-1.

Gladstone outhit Sweet Home 9-4, and committed no errors to the Huskies’ five.

Holly hit both a double and a single in the game. Valloni and junior Lewis Conn both recorded singles.

Junior Kaden Zajic threw four innings for the Huskies. Junior Jacob Sieminski came in for one inning of relief, allowing no runs. Best said he “threw really well” despite taking the loss.

“We gave up eight unearned runs, which is not something you can do against any team, and for sure not Gladstone,” he said. “[Gladstone] was solid, but we had errors that extended innings and gave them more opportunity.”

Sweet Home has a three game series against Philomath (3-6) this week. The Huskies play at Philomath at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, then host a doubleheader against the Warriors beginning at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The team then travels to Sisters (5-3) for a 4:30 p.m. contest on Monday, April 11.