SoHi baseball goes 1-1 on trip to Mat-Su valleys

Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Soldotna baseball team finished 1-1 on a weekend trip to the Matanuska-Susitna valleys.

The Stars defeated Houston 10-8 on Friday in Northern Lights Conference play before losing to Wasilla 13-12 on Saturday to fall to 1-3 in the NLC.

Tyler Fritz was the winning pitcher for the Stars on Friday, pitching 5 1-3 innings while giving up eight earned runs on four hits. He struck out four and walked six.

Mitchel Daugherty finished the game, striking out four and walking two while giving up one hit.

Josiah Covey was 3-for-3 at the plate, hitting the wall on the fly twice and scoring three runs. Also for the Stars, Max Hegge was 2-for-4 and Fritz was 2-for-4.

On Saturday, Covey gave up six runs in 3 2-3 innings. Mason Kanakis pitched 2-3 of an inning and gave up two runs, while Daugherty went 1 2-3 and gave up five runs.

Coach Roger Phillips said the third inning was key in the loss. The Stars had five errors that led to three runs in the inning.

Covey was 3-for-5 with three doubles and another shot off the wall. Also for the Stars, Hegge was 3-for-4, Daugherty was 1-for-3, Gavin Larson was 1-for-4 and Kanakis was 1-for-4.

"We're starting to play some better baseball," Phillips said. "We just have to get rid of some mental lapses."

Phillips said the positive on the trip was the pop in SoHi's bats.

The Stars play Monday at 4 p.m. in Homer.

Colony 4, Kenai 3

The host Knights topped the Kardinals on Friday in seven innings in Northern Lights Conference action.

AJ Hull pitched the first 5 2-3 innings for Kenai, giving up four unearned runs. Miles Jones pitched the last 1 1-3.

"We actually played really well," Kenai coach John Kennedy said. "What killed us tonight was a couple of errors. We win this ballgame 3-0 if we take care of a couple of fly balls to the outfield."

Kennedy said some highlights on defense were a double play and catcher Ethan Oliver controlling the running game.

Oliver was 2-for-4 at the plate, while Hector Rivera was 1-for-2 with a run and stolen base, and Johnny Wilson was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Colony 8, Kenai 2

The host Knights won a nonconference game Saturday to drop the Kards to 0-5 overall.

"We are improving," Kennedy said. "We may not be improving as fast as the kids want, but we got a lot better this weekend."

Kennedy said the Knights hit better on Saturday, collecting nine base knocks to Kenai's four. The four hits came from Oliver, Rivera, Jones and Dylan Sterling.

Jones pitched the first 2 1-3 innings and took the loss. Rivera had two strikeouts in 2-3 of an inning, while Sterling pitched the last three innings.

Kenai had five errors.

"You make an error, they make you pay for it," Kennedy said.

The Kards travel to play Homer on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Houston 9, Homer 6

Defensive breakdowns doomed the Mariners in a 9-6 loss against Houston in Northern Lights Conference action on the road Saturday.

The Mariners, who lost 20-19 to Palmer on Thursday, drop to 3-2 overall.

On Saturday, Kevin Rowe pitched 5 2-3 innings but didn't receive much help. Homer coach Larry Kuhns said the team committed costly errors after fighting from behind to tie the game at 4 in the fourth inning.

"Good hitting, good pitching, bad fielding," Kuhns said. "Basically, defensive letdowns cost us the game."

Houston combined to score five runs in the fifth and sixth innings, taking a 9-4 lead into the seventh. The Mariners plated two in the top of the seventh.

Homer played without starting catcher Dylan Morrison, who has missed the past few games with a sprained ankle. He will return to the lineup when the Mariners host Soldotna at 4 p.m. Monday.

"We lost our continuity," Kuhns said of Morrison's absence. "He means a tremendous amount to our team."

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