Sports

Panthers sweep Wildcats

Close, but there were no victories for the Oak Harbor baseball team earlier this week.

The Wildcats battled one of the top teams in the WesCo North, Snohomish, and were narrowly defeated, 8-6 on Tuesday and 6-3 on Wednesday.

“We don’t need moral victories right now, we need wins right now,” OHHS head coach Jim Waller said after Tuesday’s home loss.

Oak Harbor found itself in a huge hole during the first game of the series, trailing 8-1 after four innings.

The large deficit, however, didn’t hurt the psyche of the Wildcats.

OHHS chipped away at starting pitcher Brandon Eagon over the final four innings.

An infield RBI single from Cameron Kays in the bottom of the fourth brought OHHS to within 8-2.

Oak Harbor tacked on two more in the sixth after Bryce Waller scored from third on a wild pitch and Trace Mead drove an opposite field RBI single to right that scored Mark Radach.

After Eagon walked the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, Oak Harbor scored another run on a wild pitch and one more on a sacrifice fly from Radach. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that’s where the comeback ended, as a flyout to center ended the game.

“I am proud of the way the kids played and I am proud of the way they came back,” Waller said. “That kid pitched against us last year and pitched a two-hitter and struck out 10, I’m really pleased with how we’re performing at the plate now.”

Oak Harbor hit the ball hard all game.

On one occasion in the fifth inning, OHHS got its leadoff hitter Trace Mead on via a single. The next two batters, Marshall Lobbestael and Chris Royce, drilled line drives to the outfield that were tracked down by Panthter outfielders.

“Those both could have been gappers, they could have been back-to-back doubles,” Waller said.

Snohomish took an early lead on an in-the-park home run from Kevin Rodland in the first inning. They tacked on one more via a fielder’s choice in the second and added five runs on in the third on five hits and one walk off OHHS starter Brendan Kays.

“We had that one tough inning,” Waller said. “They’re a very good offensive team.”

Dustin Lemke led Snohomish at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.

Snohomish 115 100 0 - 8 9 2

Oak Harbor 100 102 2 - 6 6 1

Eagon, Hammonds (7) and Hammonds, Hennessey (7). B. Kays, Royce (3), Radach (6), Jansen (7) and Bighouse, Encinas (7). WP-Eagon. LP-B. Kayes (1-2).

Snohomish 6, Oak Harbor 3

Oak Harbor had another solid showing at the plate on Wednesday, but couldn’t overcome the Panthers late in the game.

The Wildcats had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh and only two outstanding defensive plays kept the score from being tied.

Mead led the Cats at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He was 5-for-6 in the series with two RBI.

As a team, OHHS earned eight hits off starting pitcher Jake Hammonds, who pitched a complete game no hitter against the Wildcats last season.

The Wildcats now sit at 0-4 in league and 3-4 overall. They played at Monroe yesterday and host the Bearcats at 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 19.

Oak Harbor 100 010 1 - 3 7 3

Snohomish 122 010 x - 6 8 4

Schutte, Jansen (6) and Bighouse. J. Hammons, N. Hammons (7), J. Hammons (7). WP-J. Hammons. LP-Schutte.

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