The Huskies picked up the win in their opening game of the season against the Kiona-Benton Bears Tuesday, March 12, picking up three runs in the first inning and one more in the third, holding on for a 4-3 win in the non-league game. Othello started senior Rey Arredondo on the mound, but his 2-for-3 hitting effort combined with two RBI ended up being the main difference he made in the game. After striking out the third batter in the top of the first inning, the Huskies went up to bat with senior Chris Garza nailing a hit out to left field good for a double and brought in sophomore Andrew Montemayor from second base for the first score of the game. With Garza on second, Arredondo hit a deep ball good for a double and brought in Garza and Juston Lind for the 3-0 lead. Ki-Be answered back with an RBI of its own to put its first run up on the board, then in the third, a sacrifice fly by Ki-Be brought the score to 3-2. Arredondo got to the plate again with two outs and brought in Montemayor one more time, scoring the Huskies' last run of the evening and giving himself a bit of a cushion to help out with his pitching. Othello head coach Larry Gonzalez said Arredondo helped himself out and starting off a game with a big offensive effort like that is just what his team needed to get the win. "It's great to get some runs there early and help out our pitcher," Gonzalez said. However, after the run they scored in the third, Othello's offense wasn't able to produce much of anything and Gonzalez knows there needs to be a consistent attack to make sure the team is winning games. "We have to realize we've got to play more than an inning and hit more than an inning, as well, to win a game," he said. "So, we've got to work on that." Previously, Gonzalez said his team has had a habit of getting off to slow starts, so this win is just what the doctor ordered. "Great win, great first win and what a way to come out and grind one out," he said. Gonzalez was happy with Arredondo's performance with both his hitting and his pitching and hopes he'll be able to keep that production up all season. "He was able to get that big two-out hit down the line to score another run, which ended up being the winning run, so that was huge," Gonzalez said. "He's going to need to do more of that, just like the rest of them are going to need to step up."
Huskies split doubleheader at East Valley The Huskies picked up another win and a loss in a doubleheader against the East Valley Red Devils Saturday, March 16, losing the first game 7-3, then turning it around in game two for a 5-0 shutout. Coach Gonzalez said the Huskies managed to pull ahead by the second inning but missed some opportunities to hold onto their lead in game one. Senior pitcher Rey Arredondo put in a solid effort to keep his team in the lead, but by the fourth inning, ran into some trouble when he started falling behind in the count and eventually, East Valley loaded up the bases, earning four runs by the end of the inning. Gonzalez said his guys had some shots and the game wasn't too far-gone but just couldn't make the plays they needed in time. "For the most part, I still felt we were within striking distance, we just needed to play better," Gonzalez said. "That's not what happened. We didn't come to the plate as aggressive as I wanted to be and we ended up falling a little bit more behind and gave up another three runs." Down 7-1 in the final inning, things looked desperate for the Huskies, but junior Josiah Peterson led a revival with a base hit. Following that, a couple Othello players walked leaving senior Adrian Garza clean the bases up and drove in two more runs. With two outs, Arredondo was the Huskies' last hope and fought his way to a full count in his at-bat. He made contact, sending the ball deep to left field, but the East Valley defender made a good play to finish off Othello in game one. "We were able to fight back and the team showed a little heart at the end," Gonzalez said. "(We were) patient at the plate and made something happen." Game two was all Othello as the Huskies built off their late-game momentum to shutdown East Valley with some strong pitching from sophomore Andrew Montemayor and some solid production from the plate. Gonzalez said pretty much everything went right for the pitcher this time. "Montemayor was on the mound and he did great," he said. "He was able to locate and move his pitches around. When you're able to do that, you're going to do well." Montemayor picked up three strikeouts and this time around, the Huskies took control at the plate and produced all the offense. Combined with some solid defense, particularly from the infield, Othello dominated the game. "We were able to take advantage of some opportunities we didn't in the first game," Gonzalez said. "In the second game, we made the plays and they didn't, so we were able to come out with a 5-0 win." Once again, Gonzalez said his team showed plenty of character and determination and worked together to help out their pitcher. "We had the opportunities in that first game, we didn't make them, but we came back in the second game and put it together," he said. "They helped Andrew out, gave him some runs and he was able to do pretty much the rest." Montemayor pitched for a couple innings in the game earlier in the week, but this was technically his first varsity start and he remained focused and kept East Valley batters at bay for all seven innings. Gonzalez was happy to see the team get behind the young pitcher and make things work the second time. "It's good to come out with a win," Gonzalez said. "We know we could have came out with two, but we'll take the one we did get and build on that. I think they're realizing we're going to be a team to contend with in the league." This week, the Huskies have two home games. The first is set for 4 p.m. Thursday against Cascade and they'll have a doubleheader against Prosser Saturday at 11 a.m.