The Philomath High School baseball team evened its season series with rival Newport Wednesday with a 12-8 victory on the coast.
The Warriors rallied from a 7-4 deficit with five runs in the fourth inning and then added runs in the fifth and sixth to improve to 10-8 overall, 5-5 in the Oregon West Conference.
“It’s definitely one of those rivalries where you definitely want to beat each other’s brains out as much as you can,” PHS coach Levi Webber said following a 9-7 loss in the series opener. “But there’s also a ton of respect for their coach staff. Coach (Ken) Riley, who used to be there, is really good friends with our coaching staff and coach (Taylor) Plesha is another good friend of the staff, so it’s a rivalry where you want to get after them with every opportunity you get and you don’t ever like losing to them.”
Philomath scored runs in each of the first six innings. In the first, Caleb Babcock hit a one-run single to give the Warriors an early advantage. After Newport took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the first, Philomath countered with a pair of runs in the second when Mason Stearns hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Ty May and Kash Lindsey scored on a wild pitch.
Philomath went up 4-3 in the third. Grant Niemann led off with a single and courtesy runner Silas Pittman later scored on a ball put into play by May.
The Cubs scored four in the bottom half, however, and regained the lead 7-4.
In the fourth, Philomath scored five runs and never trailed the rest of the way. Logan Matthews led off the inning with a walk, stole second and scored when Stearns reached on an error. Later in the inning, Chad Russell connected for a two-run single to give Philomath an 8-7 lead. David Griffith and May followed with one-run singles.
The Warriors added another run in the fifth on a one-run single by Grant Niemann and two in the sixth when Brayden Shenk and Wylie Griffith scored.
Philomath collected 10 hits in the victory with Niemann going 3 for 3 and Russell finishing 2 for 2 with two RBIs. Stearns scored three runs. Pittman scored twice running for the catcher.
David Griffith put in a 97-pitch, complete-game performance on the mound for the Warriors, allowing 10 hits and six earned runs with three walks and six strikeouts.
The Warriors and Cubs played the series-deciding game Thursday at Terry Stephenson Field.