Sabers continue hot hitting

MANISTEE — It’s still early, but Manistee Catholic Central is averaging 10 runs a contest through six games.

On Friday, their bats again made the difference in a West Michigan D League sweep of Crossroads Charter Academy as the Sabers won a 16-3 opener and a 7-3 nightcap.

Manistee Catholic Central senior Ben Feliczak delivers a pitch during the second game of Friday’s West Michigan D League doubleheader against Crossroads. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Manistee Catholic Central senior Ben Feliczak delivers a pitch during the second game of Friday’s West Michigan D League doubleheader against Crossroads. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

“We’ve hit the ball pretty well — I know we’ll be tested more as the season goes on — but I’m pleased with the way we’ve hit so far,” said MCC coach Dave Ranville. “We’ve got a good 10-day stretch of games coming up that will really show us where we stand.”

There was little debate in Friday’s opener, as the Sabers (5-1, 5-1 WMD) stood well out in front early. With four runs in the first, two in the second and seven in the third, MCC led 13-0 heading into the fourth. The Cougars plated a trio of runs in the top of the frame, but MCC responded with three of its own in the bottom.

The game ended via mercy rule as CCA was held scoreless in the fifth.

“I thought we hit well the first game, obviously,” Ranville said. “We feel good about the runs we’re putting on the board. It’s better to be on the big end of the runs than the short end, that’s for sure.”

Alex Carter led the Sabers at the plate by going 3-for-4, including two doubles, with five RBIs. Ben Feliczak went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, Mason Clark had three hits, including a triple, and Robert Sewell had a pair of singles with four RBIs.

Sewell got the win on the mound, striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced, and allowing just two hits and two walks before being relieved by Feliczak in the fourth.

David Hunt and Zach Rardin were the only Cougars with hits in the opener.

The Sabers looked to still have momentum in the nightcap as they scored four runs in the first, but the Cougars buckled down and plated three of their own in the third to make it a one-run game.

“We really settled down,” said CCA coach Ed Milam. “We focused on the little things: making plays when we needed to make them.”

In his first varsity start, freshman Nate Worrall kept the Sabers off the board in the second and third, and led his team at the plate with a hit.

“Nate threw a good game that second game,” Milam said. “He kept it around the strike zone and that’s what we needed him to do. We made the plays behind him to keep it close.”

The Sabers led by a run heading into the fourth, but plated three more for a cushion. After they blanked Crossroads in the bottom of the frame, the game was called due to darkness.

Clark led the offense in the nightcap, batting 3-for-3, including a triple, with an RBI while Jason Kaminski had two hits, including a double, and Feliczak collected four RBIs.

Feliczak also took the win on the mound by allowing just two hits and two walks with six strikeouts in four innings.

“(Sewell) and (Feliczak) both did well,” Ranville said. “We didn’t have a lot of walks, which to me is prime, because all any coach wants is strikes. So far, we’re doing well there too.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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