Wildcats split tough series

One day after stunning Snohomish, the state’s seventh ranked baseball team, Oak Harbor ran into a wall.

Wildcat pitchers surrendered six walks and hit four batters on Wednesday afternoon, leading to a 9-3 home loss.

“This is the kind of thing where we had to play a really good game to win...they’re one of the top teams in the state,” OHHS head coach Jim Waller said.

Instead, a plethora of walks and hit batters set the table for some of the best hitters in the Western Conference North.

And Snohomish capitalized on those mistakes early.

OHHS starter Mark Radach hit the first batter of the game on an 0-2 count and walked the next batter on four pitches, setting the table for Nick Hammons. The Panther senior followed, drilling a two-run double into the left center field gap for a 2-0 lead.

Snohomish virtually did the same thing in the fourth inning, using a hit batter and an error to help load the bases. Snohomish senior Kevin Rodland followed with a big blow. The University of Arizona recruit blasted a three-run triple into deep center field and eventually scored the fourth run of the inning on a groundout.

“That hurt,” Waller said. “We dug ourselves a hole there with the walks and stuff.”

The Panthers tacked on three more runs in the fifth, two via bases loaded walks and another off a hit batter with the bases loaded.

Oak Harbor’s offense appeared that it would be able to keep up with Snohomish early.

The Wildcats started the game with three consecutive hits; a single from sophomore Chris Valencia, an RBI double from sophomore Johnny Encinas and an RBI single from junior Marshall Lobbestael.

“We came out ripping it, then I don’t know what happened,” Waller said.

After the first, the Wildcats only generated two more hits and scored their final run in the sixth inning when Radach scored on a wild pitch.

Encinas led the OHHS hitters, going 2-for-3.

Snohomish 200 430 0 — 9 6 0

Oak Harbor 200 001 0 — 3 5 1

West, Allen (6), Jones (7) and Hennessey and Chandler. Radach, Lura (5), Ellis (5), Lang (7) and Encinas. WP-West. LP-Radach.

OHHS 2, Snohomish 1

Oak Harbor earned its first league win and handed Snohomish its only loss of the season Tuesday, downing the Panthers 2-1 on their home field.

“We put in a strong defensive performance that helped pull out the win,” Waller said. “We turned two double plays, picked a runner off and made several good plays in the field to keep Snohomish to one run.”

Senior starter, Tyson Boon, pitched five and two-thirds innings, allowing just the one run in the second inning. Junior reliever Gary Ellis came in during the sixth to record a strikeout with two runners on and junior Marshall Lobbestael worked OHHS out of a two-on, no-out jam in the seventh to nab the save.

Oak Harbor scored its two runs in the fourth. Valencia tacked the first run on, scoring from third on a double steal. Lobbestael then scored the go-ahead run on an error off the bat of junior James Leach.

The Wildcats, who were without three regular starters the past two games due to spring break, are now 1-3 in the Western Conference North and 3-5 overall. OHHS played last night at home against Monroe (6-0, 7-1) and takes to the road Tuesday, April 11 to face the same Bearcat squad.

Oak Harbor 000 200 0 — 2 4 1

Snohomish 010 000 0 — 1 7 3

Boon, Ellis (6), Lobbestael (7) and Encinas. Wood and Hennessey. WP-Boon (1-0). LP-Wood (2-1). S-Lobbestael.

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