Skylar Brolin
Philomath's Skylar Brolin limited Sweet Home to one hit in Wednesday's five-inning Warrior win. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath High junior Skylar Brolin got off to a shaky start against Sweet Home in an Oregon West Conference showdown on Wednesday afternoon. The Huskies entered the game undefeated at 4-0 this young season and appeared to maintain momentum from their earlier victories in the first inning when Russell Holly hit a double to move teammate Dawson Armstrong over to third.

Armstrong then scored on a Tucker Weld groundout to give Sweet Home the early lead. As it turned out, the Holly double would be the only hit of the ballgame for the Huskies. Brolin refocused, the Huskies couldn’t figure him out and Philomath bats came out to party in the Warriors’ 14-3 victory. The game was stopped in the fifth inning on the 10-run mercy rule.

“He wasn’t quite as sharp early on in the first like he was last Friday but he competes,” PHS coach Levi Webber said. “That’s one of the things about Skylar — you know he’s going to go out there and compete his butt off and he’s going to give us every opportunity.”

Brolin, who has won both of his starts this season, has a 2.55 ERA and 12 strikeouts in his 11 innings of work. Perhaps the most impressive statistic, however, is that batters are hitting only .132 against him.

“I like heaters but watching hitters swing at curveballs — that’s really fun,” Brolin said when asked to describe his pitching style. “I’d say I really like my fastball and just throwing it past people.”

PHS second baseman David Griffith throws to first. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath looked good in a doubleheader sweep last week over Sisters but came out flat on the road Monday in a 16-6 loss to Banks. The team needed to regain its composure with a win over Sweet Home.

“I was really proud of them with the way they responded because on Monday, it wasn’t the same team that was out here on Friday and definitely not the same team that was out here today,” Webber said. “The energy wasn’t nearly the same as it was here today as it was up there at Banks so for us to come out and pitch and defend the way that we did, eliminate as many miscues as we had, it was good to see.”

Brolin said the Warriors were focused on taking the first game of a two-game set between the two schools. They’ll meet again on Thursday at Sweet Home.

“I’d say we all showed up to win this game — wanting to get ahead of them because we play them again tomorrow,” Brolin said. “That loss to Banks was all in our heads but we bounced right back.”

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Warriors responded with three in the bottom half of the inning. Adam Hernandez, Alek Russell and Chase Beardsley each had one-run singles.

Philomath High catcher Logan Carter checks base runners. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

The Warriors then took control in the second with a six-spot on the scoreboard. Hernandez had another clutch hit with a double to drive in Cameron Ordway. Ty May followed and put a hard grounder into play that led to a Sweet Home error. David Griffith and Hernandez both scored for a 6-1 Philomath lead.

Russell then tripled to right-center to plate May. Jake Williams singled up the middle to drive in Russell. And Beardsley scored while Logan Carter hit into a fielder’s choice to third.

Sweet Home got a couple of runs across in the third with walks and errors contributing to the cause. But Philomath came back with three in the bottom half. Beardsley worked a bases-loaded walk to bring Hernandez in. May and Russell later scored for a 12-3 lead.

Philomath scored two more in the fourth to up its advantage to 11 runs. Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Ordway. May singled home Griffith.

PHS junior Blake Niemann sprints toward first base during Wednesday’s 14-3 win over Sweet Home. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Brolin’s five innings included one hit, three walks and seven strikeouts.

At the plate, Philomath had 11 hits with Ordway, Hernandez, May and Russell getting two hits apiece. Hernandez and May each drove in three runs.

“Offensively, I just thought we were outstanding all day long … making sure we had good pitches, getting good swings on them, taking extra bases when we could, picking up runs when we had guys in scoring position, moving up runners with less than one out,” Webber said.

Philomath (3-1) plays at Sweet Home Thursday with the first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m. The team is then off the rest of the week until Monday with a trip to Stayton.

Philomath 14, Sweet Home 3 (5)
Wednesday, April 21 at Philomath HS
Sweet Home (4-1)102003
Philomath (3-1)3632x14
A. Marler, rf1100
Armstrong, p1100
R. Holly, C3011
Weld, 1b3001
H. Holly, dh-c2000
Valloni, ss2000
Nichols, cf-p2000
K. Marler, 2b2000
Smith, lf-cf1100
Ordway, ss4220
Griffith, 2b2310
Hernandez, cf2323
May, 1b4323
Russell, lf3222
Beardsley, 3b2112
Williams, dh3011
Niemann, rf2000
Carter, c3001
DP: None. LOB: Philomath 4, Sweet Home 7. 2B: Hernandez, Griffith, R. Holly. 3B: Russell.
Nichols L225231
Brolin W513237

Philomath 23, Sweet Home 21
Wednesday, April 21 at Philomath HS
Sweet Home2101800021
Philomath’s JV team goes to 3-0 on the season. … It was the second win over Sweet Home with the Warriors also defeating the Huskies on April 16 by a 25-3 margin. Philomath’s other win came April 19 over Banks, 15-10. … In this game, Sweet Home scored 18 runs in the fourth inning and lost the game. … That’s because Philomath had 17 runs in the third inning and maintained the lead. … Curiously, neither team scored after the score had become 23-21 in the top of the fourth. … Kash Lindsey went 3 for 3 with two RBIs. … John McCombs and Chad Russell both went 2 for 3 with two RBIs. … Conner Harms drove in two runs as well. … Lindsey, McCombs and Russell each had doubles and Mason Stearns hit a triple. … The JV schedule shows another game at Sweet Home on Thursday.

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