Junction City takes twin bill from Huskies

Wayne Spinney

For The New Era

The Huskies traveled across I-5 last Saturday and wound up being frustrated twice by an opportune Junction City team. The Tigers used timely hitting in game one and rode the arm of their best pitcher in game two in order to send the Huskies packing home without a win in another non-league tune-up.

Game one saw Brandon Martin starting on the mound for the second time this season. This time Martin pitched well through five innings while holding the Tigers to four scattered hits.

?I thought I pitched a good game,? said Martin. ?I threw a lot of pitches and ran out of gas but was happy with the job I did.”

A four run rally in the Husky fourth saw Lance Carter, Travis Smith, Tim Matuszak, Aaron Forquer and sophomore Tim Faulconer fluster Junction City pitching for five hits and a pair of balks.

?We really got their pitcher rattled for a bit there in the fourth,? said Coach Dan Tow. ?Faulconer did a nice job playing right field and got a key hit in that inning too.?

When the Huskies pushed across an insurance run in the top half of the sixth to make it 5-2, things looked good for the visiting dogs. Martin tired though after his pitch count topped the century mark in the sixth. The home team used a solid single, a walk , a bunt single, a stolen base and two bleeders to right field in order to draw even in the home half of the sixth.

With the apparent handwriting on the wall, the Tigers called on their ace to shut the Huskies down in the top of the seventh. As the stage was set for the Tigers in the last inning, Lance Carter walked the lead off hitter who advanced on a sacrifice bunt and then scored on Matt Bauman?s two-strike double to the gap in left field.

?I was happy with the job Martin did,? said Tow. ?We just need to work a little harder on some things.?

The second game saw Sweet Home out hit the Tigers eight to five but leave eleven base runners stranded. In the third and again in the seventh inning the Huskies loaded the bases but couldn?t solve Junction City pitching with a clutch hit.

?Their starter did a nice job when he needed to,? said Tow. ?He?s probably their best athlete, and he showed a lot of poise on the mound today.?

Sweet Home troubles began in the third inning when starter Cody Miller came unglued. Junction City sandwiched two singles around three consecutive hit batters while scoring five runs on only three hits. They never looked back from that point.

?We do some nice things in the field, hit the ball pretty well, but we need our pitchers to step up,? Tow lamented. ?So far I?m still not sure how bad our pitchers want the ball in order to give it their best shot.?

With the league season starting this week, the Huskies have little time to find their leadership on the mound. The Sweet Home baseball team may be 1-5 right now, but the race for a league title starts in earnest this week. Coach Tow still thinks they have the stuff to do well.