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Baseball team second seed after beating Sisters, sweeping CG


May 16, 2017

They needed to win just one game in a doubleheader against Cottage Grove to place second in Sky-Em baseball and a home game in their play-in game, but the Huskies swept everything last week on the road, toppling top-ranked Sisters 10-5 and then beating Cottage Grove 12-0 and 8-2 in a doubleheader to close out league play.

Junction City beat Sisters last week and Cottage Grove twice in late April to move into third place, forcing Cottage Grove to fall from second to fourth place in the Sky-Em League this month.

The Huskies will host South Umpqua at 5 p.m. Thursday in the play-in round of state playoffs.

South Umpqua is 10-5, in third place in the Far West League and ranked 30th in Oregon Student Activities Association rankings. The Huskies are now ranked fifth with an 11-4 record in league and 17-5 overall.

The Huskies are the second-highest ranked second seed in the state. Second-ranked Henley is second seed in the Skyline Conference behind Hidden Valley, which moved to the stop spot in the state rankings after Sisters’ losses to Sweet Home and Junction City.

If the Huskies defeat South Umpqua, said Coach John Best, they will play at North Bend, the top team in Far West League. North Bend, 13-2, is ranked 20th in the state.

“Our team is feeling good,” Best said. “I told them in our last meeting after we swept Cottage Grove, we’re in the exact place where we want to be.

“We’re playing great. The kids are excited. They’re still playing loose. Expectations are high, but I like the way they’re competing.”

He still warned his team not to take their next games lightly. An Elmira can still pop up and grab a win, like it did May 2.

Sweet Home 10, Sisters 5

“That was a huge win for us,” Best said. “We got them last year, and that was kind of a barn burner.”

The Huskies edged out Sisters 10-9 in their final contest of the season last year. This year, the win was more decisive.

Sweet Home got going early May 9, taking a 2-0 lead at the top of the first inning. Sisters scored a run in the first and then again in the third to tie the game 2-2, but the Huskies had an answer, scoring the game-winning run in the top of four.

“I felt like Sisters played well,” Best said, but it was his team’s best game of the season.

“We just hit like crazy,” Best said, out-hitting arguably the two best pitchers in the league, putting the ball into play for base hits all game long, 18 of them.

Keegan Holly went 5-5 with a double to lead the Huskies at the plate. Hitting the ball twice were Daniel Virtue, Devin Stafford, Austin James, Nate Virtue and Colton Smith, who had a double. Also hitting were Kobe Olson, Jon Elder and Keanu Aiona.

Christopher Luz led at bat for Sisters, collecting two hits, with a triple and four runs.

Best said pitcher Daniel Virtue was injured in the game and may be out for a couple of weeks.

Sweet Home 200 142 1 – 10 18 1

Sisters 101 012 0 – 5 7 2

D. Virtue, Stafford (4), Smith (6) and Aiona. Morgan, Mingus (4), Morss (7) and Funk. WP: Virtue. LP: Morgan.

Sweet Home 12,

Cottage Grove 0

Sweet Home 8,

Cottage Grove 2

Friday, the Huskies put five runs on the board out of the gate in their first game of a doubleheader Friday at Cottage Grove.

They did it again in the second inning, leading 10-0. Then the rain washed out the game. The umpire suspended the game, and the two teams met at Stayton to finish the doubleheader.

The Huskies added two more runs to their score in the third inning to finish the shutout.

In their second game, the Huskies scored seven runs in the first two innings and their final run in the fifth before the Lions were able to put their first runs of the doubleheader on the board, scoring two in the fifth.

“They’re a decent club,” Best said. “They’re not a bad team. They’re going to be a tough four seed.”

Cottage Grove was in second place behind Sisters in the Sky-Em until the beginning of May, and Cottage Grove was the first of just three teams to beat Sisters so far this year.

But the Huskies had tremendous at bats, Best said, and they were facing Cottage Grove’s ace pitcher, Brett Ollivant, in the first game.

Monday the Huskies went on to defeat Blanchet Catholic 11-6 at home in a non-league game.

Sweet Home 552 00 – 12 13 1

Cottage Grove 000 00 – 0 2 4

Stafford, Smith (3), Fisher Anderson (5) and Aiona. Ollivant, Cox (3) and Cross. WP: Stafford. LP: Ollivant.

Sweet Home 250 010 0 – 8 9 1

Cottage Grove 000 020 0 – 2 6 2

Anderson, N. Virtue (5), Smith (6) and Aiona. Bellamy, Sayles (3) and Cross. WP: Anderson. LP: Bellamy.


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