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LITHIA — Locked in a pitcher’s duel Friday, host Newsome’s Julius Engel and Durant’s Trey Oest got their teams into extra innings and wound up with matching three-hitters.
The difference, however, was when and how those hits came. Oest surrendered his three in the first two innings and worked out of jams while Engel lost a no-hitter in the seventh inning and the game in the eighth.
The Cougars capitalized on three hits (including one off reliever Ryan Tauscher), a walk and infield error to score twice in the top of the eighth for a 2-0 win over their Class 5A, District 8 rival.
That gave Durant (13-6, 8-4) a sweep of the season series.
“We just keep fighting,” Durant coach Butch Valdes said. “They’ve been fighting all year.”
Durant loaded the bases with one out in the eighth when Dylan Barrows reached on a throwing error by shortstop Tyler Packanik and advanced to third on John Coglianese’s sharp single to rightfield. Luke Heyer singled on a popup over a drawn-in infield, but the runners did not advance.
Engel walked Caleb Jordan to score Barrows and pinch-runner Jared Donini trotted home on a Tyler Danish single. Danish broke up Engel’s no-hit bid with a single down the third-base line an inning earlier.
“He’s been clutch,” Valdes said of Danish, the only player in the game with two hits. “It was the right time to have him there in the lineup.”
Erik Dowse and Alex Kerr, who also flirted with a no-hitter earlier this season, had singles for Newsome (13-8, 6-6) in the first and Keller Powers drew a walk, but Oest worked out of that jam. He also put two runners on in the second and escaped unscathed.