Just a few weeks ago, Othello was around the middle of the pack in league standings, but now with a solid performance and a sweep of the visiting Selah Vikings Saturday, May 4, the team finished off their regular season in second place with a league record of 13-5. Othello head coach Larry Gonzalez said many had written off the team after one of last season's best players, David Garza, sat out every game this year, but the team fought through adversity to get where they are now. "These guys believe in themselves and I think that's huge," Gonzalez said. "I don't know if I've ever had a team that believes in themselves like these guys do - they don't have any fear." After allowing Selah to build a 6-0 lead in game one, the Huskies came back in a big way and scored six runs in the fifth inning to tie it up and then added three more in the sixth to earn a 9-6 win. In game two, the Huskies got off to a quick 3-0 lead, but Selah tied it up in the third. Othello battled back to take the lead again in their at-bat in the third, added two more runs in the sixth for the 6-4 win. With a steep hill to climb near the end of game one, the Huskies had to get something going and senior Adrian Garza got the ball rolling by getting on base with an error. Sophomore Asaph Garza got on right after him and gave senior Rey Arredondo the tools he needed to hit in both Garzas with a RBI double. Randy Gomez followed it up with a RBI single a few batters later and by the time Selah got their third out, the Huskies had tied the game up. Following the games, senior Chris Garza said the comeback was due to a solid team effort and a desire to break through the underdog status the team had been labeled as at the start of the season. "We were the underdogs in the CWAC and no one was expecting Othello to be up near the top," C. Garza said. "Hard work from everybody - through freshman to senior - is all we needed to spark our bats." In breaking down his team's comeback in game one, Gonzalez said a lot of it was due to keeping a positive attitude and praised the team's solid hitting to back it up. Selah also committed three errors to lead to the six runs. "This was a perfect example of them not giving up no matter what," he said. "We got some big hits, their pitcher was struggling a little bit and we were able to take advantage of that ... we just kept the inning going, whether it was a walk or a hit, they stayed positive." Othello had a chance to take the lead but left some runners stranded. Selah got the bases loaded in their at-bat in the fifth, but sophomore Andrew Montemayor regained control at the mound and with help from his fielders, were able to hold the Vikings at bay. "It was just a great win all the way through," Gonzalez said. "Every single player contributed in one way or another."
Huskies hold off Selah comeback in game two Selah opened up game two with a run in the first, but Othello roared back in their at-bat to score three of their own thanks to an opposite field homerun by junior Josiah Peterson. Gonzalez said Peterson had struggled in game one, but like the rest of the team, didn't get down on himself and came out in a big way to get the momentum going in Othello's favor. "He stuck with it," he said about Peterson's big hit. "That gave us a 3-1 lead and it gave (Arredondo) some confidence on the mound." In the third inning, Selah's Fabian Gutierrez tied it up with a two-run homer of his own, but again, Othello responded well as C. Garza hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in Gomez for the 4-3 lead. After just witnessing a huge comeback in game one, Gonzalez told his team they couldn't take any innings off and to keep focused on maintaining their lead. "We had to keep on playing defense and keep on hitting the ball," he said. "No lead is safe. It doesn't matter how much you're up by." Huskie fielders only allowed one more run in the sixth and answered back with two more runs in their at-bat for the win. Adrian Garza said this was an "overwhelming" win for the Huskies who hadn't swept the Vikings for as long as he's played at the varsity level. "These games were huge," he said. "We haven't beaten Selah since our sophomore year so this was a great thing for us. It's a new beginning now and we've worked hard for this." With this sweep in the bag, the Huskies closed out the season with a 13-5 league record and played host to Selah again Wednesday for the district tiebreaker round. Results weren't available as of press time, but Garza said he expected the Huskies' bats to lead the way to a third win over the Vikings.
Scoreboard Game One Selah 300 300 0 - 6 8 2 Othello 000 063 x - 9 6 3
Game Two Selah 102 001 0 - 4 7 2 Othello 301 002 x - 6 7 3