The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

SH qualifies for baseball play-in game by sweeping JC

 

May 17, 2016

KEANU AIONA gives a high-five to a coach and teammates as he rounds the bases on a three-run home run.

Sweet Home’s baseball players rounded out a clean sweep of Junction City last week, beating the Tigers 20-17 in a monster game on the road on May 10 and then winning again 12-5 at home on Friday.

"We obviously won our last two games, and I thought that we hit the ball really, really well,” said Coach Dan Tow.

"It feels good to win. We felt like we played a better game on Friday. The Tuesday game was kind of a crazy one. It was just kind of a weird game.

"I kind of felt like the last couple weeks of the season, our bats were coming around. In the middle (of the season), we weren’t scoring very many runs.”

The league is well-balanced, Tow said. The Huskies won and lost games by just a few runs. They lost to the champion, Cottage Grove, by one or two runs in three games, while winning close ones against last-place Sutherlin, which managed to shutout the Huskies 5-0 running one of the best pitchers in the league. The Huskies had no easy games this season.

Sweet Home finished in fourth place with a record of 7-8 in league and 13-10 overall. Elmira finished 9-6 in league, 15-9 overall, and was third place. Sisters finished 10-5, 13-9 overall, and was second behind Cottage Grove, 13-2 in league and 18-6 overall.

Junction City finished league with a record of 4-11, 8-17 overall, and Sutherlin was last with a record of 2-13 in league and 8-15 overall.

The Huskies qualified for the play-in round and will travel to Astoria most likely on Friday, Tow said. "Astoria’s good. That’s a very good league. Astoria is very well-coached.”

He doesn’t know much about Astoria, but most of its losses were to good teams in its league, Tow said. "They’ll be a quality team. They’ll be a well-coached team. I certainly think that if we play good baseball, we can compete with just about anybody in the state.”

SH 12, Junction City 5

"Good job by our guys tonight,” Tow said. "We put together a bunch of hits, and scored quite a few runs.”

The Huskies were led by Ty Plebuch, Justin Tow and Keanu Aiona at the plate.

Ty Plebuch did a great job going 3-3 with a triple and three runs scored, Tow said. Justin Tow was 3-4 with four RBIs. Keanu Aiona was 2-4 with a three-run home run and a total of four RBIs.

Sweet Home had two hits each from Jake Long with a double, Dan Virtue and Desmond Ely.

Junction City scored a run in the first inning, but Sweet Home scored two to take a 2-1 lead. The Huskies grew their lead by another run in the third inning, but Junction City scored three in the top of the fifth to go ahead 4-3.

The Huskies answered with six runs, including Aiona’s three-run home run. Junction City managed one more run in the sixth, and the Huskies added another three.

"I thought our defense was pretty good, and Devin Stafford gave us a good complete game effort on the mound,” Tow said. "This was the last regularly scheduled home game for our seniors, and they played well and won in fairly convincing fashion, so that was nice.”

On the mound, Stafford gave up nine hits, three walks and five runs, three of them earned. He struck out two.

Junction City100 031 0 – 5 9 2

Sweet Home201 063 0 – 12 16 2

SH 20, Junction City 17

In a monster back-and-forth game with 37 runs, the Huskies came out ahead of Junction City be scoring four in the eighth inning.

"Tonight was one of the more interesting games we’ve had in a long time,” Tow said. "There were 42 hits in the game and we had 25 of them. The defense by both teams left plenty to be desired, but we kept battling and scoring runs. And we needed them.”

The Huskies took the first lead, scoring four in the second and third innings, while Junction City scored two each in those innings to trail the Huskies 8-4. Junction City put together a big fourth inning to go ahead 9-8 and expanded its lead to 12-10 in the fifth inning.

The Huskies brought home six runs in the sixth inning to take a 16-12 lead, and Junction City tied the game 16-16 in the bottom of seven. Sweet Home scored four in the top of the eighth to lead 20-16, but Junction City was able to score just one more run.

Tow had a big night with five hits and five RBIs. Austin James had four hits and five RBIs, and Ely had four hits and scored four runs.

Kobe Olson had three hits and scored four runs. Long had two hits and four RBI’s; and Virtue, Brandon Keenon and Aiona each had two hits.

"Devin Stafford came in and pitched well late, and we managed to get a crazy victory,” Tow said.

Stafford collected the win pitching in relief. He gave up a hit and two runs, neither of them earned. He struck out one batter.

Virtue started the game, giving up 10 hits, one walk and 11 runs, five of them earned in four innings. He struck out two.

Pitching in relief for two innings Brandon Keenon gave up six hits, one walk and four runs, two of them earned. He struck out three.

Sweet Home044 026 04 – 20 25 8

Junction City 022 530 41 – 17 17 4

 
 
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