Legion AA splits league series

Strange things were afoot on the baseball field for the Oak Harbor Junior Legion AA team during its first week of league play.

The Wildcats saw large leads disappear and reappear time after time as they split their two-game series with Ferndale — a series that saw a combined 33 unearned runs between the teams.

“This is bizarro world, it’s like the Twilight Zone out there,” OHHS coach Jim Waller said.

On Thursday Oak Harbor fell 10-9 at home after mounting a large comeback then giving the lead back up late.

Down 7-2 after two innings, the Wildcats fought from behind in the fourth inning, scoring five runs with two outs.

Bases-loaded walks from Chris Valencia and Cameron Kays, along with a two-run single from Marshall Lobbestael and a balk by Ferndale pitcher Mike Miller, put the Wildcats in a 7-7 tie after four innings.

Oak Harbor then took its first lead during the next inning after Johnny Encinas got a pop up to drop between Ferndale’s first and second basemen to score one run. That was followed by a two-out RBI single from Valencia that gave Oak Harbor a 9-7 advantage.

Holding on to the lead until the top of the seventh, things started to go downhill for the Wildcats. Two infield hits and a walk, loaded the bases with no outs. Lobbestael, who pitched the entire game, responded getting a pop out to center field and a strikeout, pulling within one out of a victory.

Ferndale then drew a bases-loaded walk, scored the tying run on a passed ball and the go-ahead run on a pickoff attempt to second base that got away from the fielder.

Losing the game via two errors was rather appropriate to close a series that saw mistake after mistake from the Wildcat fielders.

“We just talked...about how fundamentally we’ve got to play better and all the kids know it too,” Waller said. “If you ask them they can tell you what they’re supposed to do.”

Oak Harbor gave up its seven runs early in large part because of mistakes that included an error, a missed cutoff man, a throw to the wrong base and a ball that was cutoff and wasn’t supposed to be.

Ferndale 430 000 3 10 10 2

Oak Harbor 110 502 0 9 8 5

Miller, Locker (5) and Stromerson. Lobbestael and Ernie Martinez. WP-Locker. LP-Lobbestael (1-2).

Oak Harbor 17, Ferndale 16

On Tuesday, Oak Harbor jumped out to an 8-0 advantage over Ferndale in the first inning. After allowing the Eagles to chip away to get back to 9-5, Oak Harbor surrendered six runs in the bottom of the sixth on only two base hits to fall behind 11-9.

The Wildcats countered in the seventh with eight runs, seven of which came with two outs, to go up 17-11.

Not done yet, Ferndale battled back with five runs to pull within one before Lobbestael got the final out and the save with the bases loaded.

Waller described the game as “one of the bizarre and ugly games” he’s ever been involved in.

In all, there were 33 runs, 29 hits, 14 walks, and 14 errors. There were only eight earned runs in the game, four by each team.

Oak Harbor is now 1-1 in league play and 4-5 overall. They play at Sedro-Woolley, Tuesday, June 7 and at home Thursday June 9. Both games start at 6:30 p.m.

Oak Harbor 800 001 8 17 16 8

Ferndale 101 306 5 16 13 6

Boon, B.Kays (5), Lang (5), Lobbestael (7) and Johnny Encinas. Hennigs, Martinell (6), Locker (7) and Stromerson. WP-Lang (1-1). LP-Martinell. S-Lobbestael (1).

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