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Baseball: Huskies in two-way contest for second

Grant Henry throws perfect game in 10-0 win over Stayton

As the 2017 baseball season comes down to its final two weeks, the North Marion Huskies are embroiled in a race with Newport for second place in the Oregon West Conference that will likely be decided in the coming week.

The Huskies (12-6, 6-3 Oregon West) are coming off of arguably their best week of play this season after going unbeaten in three games against the Stayton Eagles and Cascade Cougars, bookended by stellar pitching performances from sophomore Grant Henry and junior Trevor Ensign.

Henry set the tone for the week, opening on April 24 against the hosting Eagles (1-14, 0-9) in a spectacular performance on the mound, pitching a rare perfect game in a 10-0 win in five innings.

The right-hander dominated the Stayton lineup, throwing a no-hitter with no walks or errors while striking out 10 of the 15 batters he faced. Meanwhile, the Huskies took the Eagles to task on the other side of the ball, scoring seven runs in the top of the second inning to take an early 8-0 lead.

Junior Andy Schmitz opened the game with a single up the left side, stolen second and third bases and a score on a grounder from senior Dylan Doubrava to give the Huskies and early 1-0 lead. Henry struck out the side in the bottom of the inning, setting up the Huskies for a huge two-out rally in the second inning.

Griffin Henry opened the second with a single up the left side, but the Eagles got two quick outs and appeared to have the Huskies figured out before Noah Vachter cracked the game open.

Vachter's single up the left side of the field scored Henry and launched a rally that scored the next six batters in the lineup to give the Huskies a commanding lead.

North Marion scored two more in the third inning to give the Huskies a double-digit lead, allowing Grant Henry to work his magic and pitch his way into the Husky record books.

Offensively, Doubrava led the team by going 2-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs and a run scored. Griffin Henry and Schmitz each went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, and Schmitz added three runs scored in the victory.

The two teams met in Stayton two days later on April 26 in an 11-6 win for North Marion that was much closer than the final score indicated.

This time with Griffin Henry on the mound, the Huskies and Eagles traded runs back and forth before North Marion went on a final scoring push at the end of the game to put it away.

The Huskies opened with three runs in the top of the first inning, but quickly gave it back in the bottom frame, giving up a pair of errors to allow the Eagles to tie the game at 3-3. After both teams went scoreless in the second, North Marion scored three more in the third, only to see Stayton answer back with a pair in the bottom of the inning to make it a 6-5 game.

Stayton tied it up in the bottom of the fifth, and the Huskies turned to senior Tanner Scanlan to close out the game. Scanlan shut down the Eagles in the final two innings while the North Marion offense went on a scoring surge to put the game out of reach. Doubrava opened the sixth with a single and scored on the next batter off another single from teammate Nic Iliyn.

In the top of the inning, Vachter, Schmitz, Doubrava and Iliyn padded the score with four more runs to make it 11-6, giving the Huskies their highest-scoring game of the month.

Doubrava and Iliyn each led the team with three hits and two runs scored. Iliyn and Hunter Schrenk had two RBIs each to lead the team as well.

The Huskies returned home on Friday for their final game of the week, defeating the visiting Cascade Cougars (8-9, 4-5) 3-0. With Ensign opening the game and Grant Henry closing, the Huskies limited the Cougars to just six hits to put up the team's third shutout of the season.

Although the Huskies were able to put runners on base in the first four innings against Cascade starter Daniel Stevens, the team wasn't able to crack through the Cougar defense until the fifth inning when Vachter and Schmitz opened the game with back-to-back singles. Iliyn drove both players in with a double to give the Huskies a 2-0 lead, and scored later in the inning on a single from Grant Henry to make it 3-0.

Grant Henry took the mound in turn in the bottom of the inning, maintaining the shutout for the final three innings to pick up the win.

The perfect week for North Marion allowed the Huskies to stay neck-and-neck with the rival No. 4 Newport Cubs (12-5, 6-3), who went unbeaten as well, to remain tied in the league standings for second place.

The Huskies and Cubs split their first two games of the season in the beginning of April and meet at Newport on Wednesday for the final game of the series, which will determine the tie-breaker.

But first, North Marion was scheduled to play at Cascade on Monday. The Huskies finish the week at home against Yamhill-Carlton (4-9, 2-7) on Friday, the first of four straight home games for North Marion to close out the regular season.

Phil Hawkins covers all things sports and Gervais. He can be reached at 503-765-1194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..