The Philomath High School baseball team brought out the bats on Thursday afternoon in Sweet Home to sweep a doubleheader and the series with victories of 14-8 and 19-8.
The Warriors are tied with Stayton for first place in the Oregon West Conference with a 5-1 record. Those two teams won’t play their season series until the first week of May.
In the first game on Thursday, the Warriors had to play from behind. Philomath scored twice in the top of the first and added a run in the third for a 3-0 lead but the Huskies put up six in the bottom of third.
Philomath cut its deficit to 6-4 in the fourth on Ty May’s solo home run — his first of the season. The Warriors scored twice in the sixth to tie it all up. Alek Russell opened the inning with a double and Mason Stearns followed with a single to get something going right away. Russell scored on a ground ball by May. Chad Russell hit a one-out single to move Stearns over to third. Stearns then scored on a ball that Blake Niemann put in play.
The two teams went to extra innings and Philomath erupted for six runs in the top of the eighth. Sweet Home went to its bullpen and the Husky pitching faltered with seven walks and three wild pitches that scored PHS runs. Also in the inning, Stearns had a two-run single and May drove in a run with a double.
In the first inning, David Griffith had a one-run single and Alek Russell hit a sacrifice fly to right field for a 2-0 lead. Philomath’s run in the third came on an error with Carson Gerding scoring.
Cameron Ordway, Stearns and May each had two hits for the PHS offense. May drove in three while Alek Russell and Stearns each had two RBIs.
On the mound, Skylar Brolin got the start and in 2-1/3 innings gave up four hits and five walks with six strikeouts. Brayden Shenk relieved and threw 5-2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and no walks with no strikeouts.
Philomath vaulted out to a 6-0 lead in the second game with five of those runs coming in the second inning. In the first, Ordway singled and came around to score. Kash Lindsey and Logan Carter hit back-to-back doubles in the second, the latter bringing in Chad Russell. Ordway later hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Lindsey. After Gerding was hit by a pitch and Griffith walked to load the bases, Alek Russell then worked a walk to force in another run. Stearns then delivered with a two-out single to drive in two more.
After Sweet Home got on the board in the third, Philomath added three in the fourth for a 9-1 lead. Two of those runs scored on errors and the other on another bases-loaded walk — this one by May.
Philomath scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Ordway singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Alek Russell in the fifth. May doubled to lead off the sixth and scored on a Silas Barton single.
Philomath then added eight more runs in the seventh. Gerding opened the inning with a double and then after Griffith and Alek Russell walked, a run scored on a bases-loaded hit by pitch with Stearns at the plate. May followed with a single to drive in a run. Chad Russell drew a bases-loaded walk for another run. Shenk hit a two-run single for a 16-8 lead.
After Sweet Home finally recorded the first out of the inning, Ordway and Gerding followed with back-to-back doubles. Ordway’s win brought in a run and Gerding’s two-bagger plated the 18th and 19th runs.
Philomath pounded out 13 hits in the victory and benefitted from nine walks. Ordway went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. May was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Gerding finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
Griffith got the win at pitcher. He went four innings and allowed three hits and four walks with four strikeouts. May pitched three innings and allowed no hits and seven walks with four strikeouts while picking up a save.
Philomath (6-6 overall) will step out of the conference for a pair next week. Originally, conference games had been scheduled against Woodburn but that school is not fielding a team this spring. Home games have been arranged for April 11 against Banks and April 14 against Blanchet Catholic.