Almost two weeks after the scheduled start, the Homer Mariner baseball team opened their season. Sunny skies, warm temperatures and a beautiful field in Kenai set the stage for a winning afternoon and evening.
Pitcher Zach Haning scattered seven hits and gave up only one run, leading the Homer Mariners to a 4-1 victory over the Kenai Kardinals on May 8. Haning struck out seven Kenai batters and gave up only one walk in a strong complete-game pitching performance in the Mariners’ first game of the season.
The top of the batter order led the way for Homer on offense, with Brian Rowe going 4 for 4. Tommy Bowe and Lucas Schneider each picked up a pair of hits. Late in the game right fielder Derek Johnson’s bullet throw to catcher Willy Deaver to make the out at homeplate stopped a comeback attempt by Kenai.
Head Coach Lary Kuhns was pleased with the opening win but noted the Mariners still have plenty to work on. Coach Kuhns said the club was “trying to do too much” in the opening innings when a number of players were caught stealing and put a damper on what could have been big offensive innings.
The coach said the talent and capability of his team is high, as they were able to overcome a few early mistakes and still defeat a solid Kenai club.
“If we just stick with our game we’ll do well,’’ said Kuhns.
In JV action on May 8, Homer thrashed the Kenai club 19-1. Homer pounded out 14 hits and took advantage of some walks and errors to put extra runs on the board. Sheldon Hutt pitched three shutout innings, Wylie Donich added a pair of strong innings, and Kyle Johnson finished the game with two solid innings for the Mariners. The Mariner pitchers gave up only two hits in the game.
The Mariners had a busy weekend in the valley, losing against the Kodiak Bears and Colony, but defeating Houston.
Kodiak 12, Homer 5
Friday the Mariners lost to the Kodiak Bears by a score of 12 to 5. Zac Bynum was the starting pitcher, relieved in the first inning by Lucas Schneider. Kodiak had 15 hits. Tommy Bowe had two hits and Brian Rowe and Zach Haning each had one.
Colony 11, Homer 1
Jacob Butcher pitched a complete game and Ben Ross drove in three runs to lead Colony to an 11-1 win over Homer at Houston High School Friday.
Butcher scattered five hits and fanned six during the six-inning complete game win. Butcher also tripled, led his team with three hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Knights.
Ross finished for 2 for 4 at the plate with three RBI. Jonathon Boyer was 2 for 3 with two RBI and three runs scored.
Willy Deaver was 2 for 2 with an RBI for the Mariners. Tommy Bowe collected a hit and scored Homer’s lone run.
Homer 4, Houston 2
Sparked by three early runs, Homer edged Houston 4-2 at Houston High Saturday.
Homer scored three times in the first inning to take the early led and held on for the victory. Mitchell Ruta pitched a
seven-inning complete game in the loss. Ruta scattered 10 hits, and fanned four batters.
Lane Taylor finished 2 for 3 with a
run for Houston. Devan Elson and Hunter Pease each added a hit and an RBI for the Hawks.
Lucas Schneider led Homer with three hits, a run and an RBI. Zach Haning and Tommy Bowe had two hits each. Bowe also scored twice and drove in a run.
Nahoa Jette pitched six innings and earned the win. Haning got the save.
Wendy Wayne and Peninsula Clarion sports reporter Joey Klecka contributed to this report.