Senior baseball players say farewell

Mariner baseball recognized its four seniors — Kyle Johnson, Greg Smith, Michael Swoboda and James Webber — before their victorious final home game on Thursday, May 19, against Kenai Central High School. 

“It’s kind of bittersweet. It was great to go out with a win but its going to be kind of sad not playing here anymore,” Swoboda said. “We’ve got a couple more practices so I’ll get to soak those in.”

Though the team is finishing their season with more losses than wins, overall the Mariners feel pretty good about their performance.

“The two best teams right now are Wasilla and SoHi, and we lost to SoHi 1-0 and we were with Wasilla 2-0 after two innings, so I feel like we can play with anybody, and when we put it all together like we did tonight, we’ll be there,” said Homer High School head baseball coach Rich Sonnen.

The Mariners go up to Kenai for the South Central Conference Region III Baseball starting today as the second seed in the south division. Homer will play their first game against Palmer, who is the third seed in the north division, at 10 a.m. on the Kenai Little League Field.  

Homer 8, Kenai 1

The Homer baseball team picked apart Kenai Central in an 8-1 Southcentral Conference win on Thursday, May 19, in Homer. The loss drops Kenai to 4-5 in the conference, and 4-6 overall, and are 0-2 against the Mariners in 2016.

Thursday against Homer, Kenai could only manage a single hit, courtesy of Jakeb O’Brien. Meanwhile, Homer feasted on Kenai’s pitching with 10 hits, led by the 3-for-3 day by Joe Ravin. Adam Brinster also hit well with a 2-for-3 showing and three RBI, and Garrett Butcher and Greg Smith both added two hits apiece.

Kenai also left eight men on base, while Homer stranded just four.

Kyle Johnson earned the win on the mound for Homer, pitching two innings and giving up one run on one hit while striking out two and walking one. Butcher then tossed three innings of scoreless, hitless ball and struck out one. Brinster walked two batters in one inning of relief and Ravin closed with a scoreless inning.

Conner Jones opened for Kenai with three innings, giving up one run on five hits, and striking out two and issuing no walks. Paul Steffensen finished the game for Kenai with three innings of relief and gave up three runs on five hits.

Kenai took a 1-0 lead at the top of the order, but Homer responded with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Mariners then added three more in the third frame and another three in the fifth.

Homer News reporter Anna Frost contributed to this report.