Cougars face tough district matchup in Beal City

COUGARS: Crossroads Charter Academy outfielder James Strickland looks toward the pitcher’s mound while leading off from first base. (Pioneer file photo)

COUGARS: Crossroads Charter Academy outfielder James Strickland looks toward the pitcher’s mound while leading off from first base. (Pioneer file photo)

CCA baseball looks to knock off Beal City in district action

BIG RAPIDS — Crossroads Charter Academy baseball coach Tim Frisbie has one message to his team heading into a matchup against Division 4 powerhouse and state runner-up Beal City in district action: “Any team can be beaten.”

“On any given day, any team can lose,” Frisbie said. “A couple things can make a game go either way.”

CCA plays at Beal City at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the semi-final of district play.

Frisbie has a simple game plan laid out for his team.

“We are going to try to play tough defense and put the ball in play,” Frisbie said. “We’ve had two quality practices over the past two days. We have worked on pitching and fielding situations.”

Beal City made it to the Division 4 state championship game in 2014, falling to New Lothrop 5-0.

Despite the tough matchup, Frisbie  is confident the Cougars will have a solid showing.

“We are going into the game with our heads high,” he said. “I’m looking for my seniors, James Strickland and Ryan Smithey, to really lead the team. They’ve been the anchors of our squad this year, and they will help keep the boy’s heads in the game.”

CCA will look for big outings from Strickland, Brooks Angell and Ben Martinez at the plate.

Through 10 conference games this season, Strickland is batting .609 with 14 hits and 10 RBIs. He also has 18 stolen bases.

Angell is batting .731 with 10 RBIs and 11 stolen bases, while Martinez holds a .567 average with 17 hits and 15 RBIs.

Smithey will start on the mound for the Cougars.

“I’m expecting a lot out of Ryan,” Frisbie said. “He just needs to move the ball around in the strike zone and not leave anything hanging. Beal City is going to get hits, so I need him to not get his head down when they do. We just need to field the ball behind him.”

CCA’s softball team also will play at Beal City at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The Cougars will most likely lean on the pitching of Cassie Cole, and the hitting of Hannah Curtis and Alyssa Larson.

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