Sweet Home Baseball: Youth Night Triumph & Hit-a-Thon Set Stage for Final Games

Eddie Taylor hitting against Cascade. Photos by

Following a full week of activities and games, the Sweet Home Baseball team (3-18) has been busy learning and improving.

In this series, the Huskies played against the Cascade Cougars (4-16). Unfortunately, these games helped with a deciding factor of if the boys would be able to play in the playoffs.

“Although we are essentially out of the playoff picture, we told our guys not to play afraid and play like we have nothing to lose,” Head Coach Evan Teter explained.

The week started with an away game against the Cougars, April 29. This game ended 1-6, with the following home game May 1 ending 4-6.

“We have struggled on offense the last few weeks, but started figuring it out towards the end of game two and that carried over into game three in a big way,” Teter said.

Ethan Delibertis sliding safely to second base.

Game three, was played away, and ended 10-2 in favor of the Huskies, May 2. Teter attributed this win to aggressive plate play.

“With that, along with a great pitching performance from both Eddie Taylor and Luke Rosa, we were able to pick up a win,” Teter said. “We are hoping that this will carry over into our final week against Newport.”

Sophomore player Eddie Taylor was able to keep the Cougars to two-hits, striking out three of their players. Sophomore Luke Rosa was also able to prevent any base stealing, only walking one person, and keeping two strikeouts.

Senior Kelso Ellis was also able to keep a .750 batting average after having five plate appearances, with Freshman player Kyle Zajic scoring three runs.

Along with playing three games this week, the team also participated in a Youth Night during their home game against Cascade, May 1.

“A really big focus for me is going to be helping develop the youth programs. I recognize that is a huge role in our success up here,” Teter said at the start of the season.

“A goal of mine from the start was not only to get myself more involved with our youth programs, but also get our youth programs involved with us,” Teter said in a statement about the Youth Night.

With the support from the Junior Baseball Organization (JBO), Josh Bondesen and Jenna Northern, Teter was able to make this night a success.

“Josh told me that all nine JBO teams in Sweet Home were represented,” Teter said.

The kids attending were able to make a tunnel for the varsity players during their introduction, join in the field for the National Anthem, and run bases after the game. With the turn-out, the Varsity Huskies enjoyed seeing how many people showed up to watch them play.

“I thought giving the kids the option to run the bases after the game would give an incentive for people to stick around and watch the game, but I was shocked with the result,” Teter said. “I don’t think anyone left.”

Once the game ended, the kids were able to run bases and even pitch from the mound. Most kids in attendance ran the bases more than once, with varsity players running alongside them.

“I’m beyond excited to see how this tradition will help with buy-in when these kids are at the high school level,” Teter stated.

Youth athletes during the Youth Night.

This week ended with the team doing their hit-a-thon fundraiser. This fundraiser involves the players participating in a normal batting practice. Their farthest hit ball gets marked with the distance hit, and they get a donation per foot.

“Donations go towards new equipment, field accessories, team trips, and more,” Teter said. “Not only does it help our program a lot, but the kids enjoy it.”

Typically this hit-a-thon is held after the May Week track meet. The Huskies go to the field in gear, and most times, face paint. The Ellis family volunteered to make burgers for the team, and anyone else attending. Teter mentioned that although it rained, the team will be back attempting the hit-a-thon, in the sun, on May 10.

This long week marked week four of five in the 4-A Oregon West Conference. The team will be facing their last week of league, versus Newport (11-9). The team will be playing at home May 7 and May 9, with an away game May 8. This week will conclude the baseball season, and begin their off season.