SWEET HOME — The Newport Cubs lost the lead late in the game during a 7-6 defeat to Sweet Home on Wednesday, throwing the league title on the line with both teams holding a win each in the contested three-game series.
Newport, ranked No. 8 in the state 4A division, won the opening round Monday, 4-3, in another cliffhanger. Sweet Home, ranked No. 11, is one game off to tie for the Oregon West Conference title.
Wednesday’s game was tied at five (15-8 overall and 13-4 league) in the bottom of the sixth when Sweet Home scored on a couple of RBI singles. Newport threatened to rally in the top of the seventh with one out when Jacob Riley’s sacrifice fly to center drove Mitchell Johnson home. With two runners in scoring position, Addison Galen’s fly-out to center field ended the game.
Newport collected nine hits and Sweet Home had 10 in the high-scoring affair, tallying three runs in the fourth inning. Newport’s big bats were led by Traxon Luckini and Tyler Biddinger, all driving in runs in the inning.
Virtue toed the rubber for Sweet Home, while Ryan Torres was on the hill for Newport. He allowed four hits and four runs over three and two-thirds innings, striking out three. Galen and Biddinger entered the game from the bullpen, throwing two innings and one-third of an inning respectively.