Errors cost Huskies in close baseball loss at Newport

Sweet Home’s baseball team lost to Newport twice in its final two games of the season last week, falling to the Cubs 3-1 on the road on Wednesday and then losing 17-9 to their coastal competitors at home on Thursday.

Newport (16-8), ranked No. 10 in OSAA, proved to be too much for Sweet Home, which finished the season 1-20, their sole win coming against Cascade at home on May 4.

The Huskies finished last in the Oregon West Conference. North Marion, ranked fourth, took the top spot with an 18-5 finish, Stayton (No. 8) was second at 14-8, the Cubs were third, Philomath was fourth at 11-13, and Cascade finished fifth at 7-16.

Wednesday’s game was a pitcher’s duel. Jon Holly allowed just one earned run on the mound for the Huskies in a complete game. He struck out six batters and gave up just two walks and five hits.

On offense, Sweet Home outhit the Cubs 6-5 in the game, but committed three errors to Newport’s one.

Newport scored one run in the first inning, one in the fourth, and one in the fifth. Sweet Home’s sole run came in the sixth, when Holly singled to score Kaden Zajic.

The hit was one of two singles Holly had in the game, to go along with a double in a 3-3 day at the plate for the junior. Kelso Ellis, Jake Sieminski, and Trenton Smith also each had a hit in the game, Sieminski’s knock being a double.

“Jon Holly pitched a really good game,” said Head Coach John Best. “We were right there – we just scored a little too late. We had guys on base all throughout the game, and I thought we played a really good game. Newport’s a good club.”

Back at home the next day, the combination of Lewis Conn, Zajic, and Christian Dominy was not nearly as effective on the mound for the Huskies, giving up 17 runs between them. Conn pitched two innings, giving up no earned runs on five hits while striking out three. Zajic pitched two innings as well, giving up two earned runs on seven hits while walking two.

Dominy pitched three innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out two and walking two. Sweet Home’s defense made five errors, a sum that was eclipsed by Newport, who made eight.

The Cubs outhit Sweet Home 15-7 in the game.

The game was knotted at 5-5 after two innings, but a big six-run third inning for Newport helped the Cubs pull away.

Conn hit a two-run home run in the second inning for his team-leading third homer of the year. Zajic went 2-5 on the day with a double, while Dylan Luttmer went 1-3 with three RBIs.

“We were hitting the ball really well,” Best said. “But they also did as well.

“We just made a few too many mistakes – a couple errors and a couple mental mistakes throwing the ball to the wrong bases and not being in position to win it against a good team. They scored four runs late to kind of blow it open, but it was a tight contest all the way through.”

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