Chippewa baseball splits with #2 MCC

 

Manistee first baseman Cameron Smith takes a throw for an attempted pickoff during the Chippewas’ 4-3 win over Muskegon Catholic Central in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Manistee first baseman Cameron Smith takes a throw for an attempted pickoff during the Chippewas’ 4-3 win over Muskegon Catholic Central in the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee baseball began life in the Lakes-8 Activities Conference in the most memorable way possible, defeating the second-ranked team in Division 4, Muskegon Catholic Central, 4-3 in the first game of a league doubleheader on Tuesday.

The Chippewas, perhaps drained from the massive upset win in the opener, dropped the nightcap 13-2 in six innings.

Chippewa sophomore Evan Bauman picked up the complete-game win on the mound in the first game, going the full seven innings having given up 3 runs on 5 hits, with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. In the newly all-important pitch count, Bauman managed to keep it under the limit of 105 with 99 total pitches in the contest.

The importance of the win for the program of first-year head coach Dave Edmondson almost cannot be overstated.

“The team really needed that,” Edmondson said. “We needed something to kind of kick-start what we’re doing here.”

Manistee scored all four of their runs with a 2-out rally in the second inning, when the Chippewas loaded the bases. Ian Pinkerton gained one RBI on a walk, and two runs scored on one wild pitch when Mayan Liston came all the way around from second when he caught the MCC catcher napping.

Pinkerton, Liston, Austin Pefley and courtesy runner Austin Bachinski scored in the inning, and Bauman made it stand up.

With the new pitch-count rules, Bauman faced an automatic hook in the seventh and last inning if he threw 16 pitches in the frame.

He got out of it in 10.

A team like Muskegon Catholic has surely seen fastballs faster than Bauman’s, but the sophomore won the day on the skill and guile of a seasoned veteran.

Of the 31 batters he faced Bauman had 19 first-pitch strikes, and of the 99 pitches he threw, 61 of them were strikes.

“He is wise beyond his years,” Edmondson said. “He’s a baseball junkie, anything to with the game, he just loves it. And he’s such a good kid that it makes it even more special when he does something like this.”

In the nightcap, Bauman picked up 2 of Manistee’s 3 hits in the 13-2 loss, including the team’s only RBI.

Muskegon Catholic scored its 13 runs on just 8 hits, courtesy of Chippewa pitching combining for 7 walks in the six innings.

Cameron Smith had the only other Manistee hit, and Pinkerton and Chase Swidorski scored the Chippewas’ only runs of the game, both in the third inning.

“We got behind in counts, and we couldn’t get batters out,” Edmondson said. “When you put seven people on base (with walks), it makes it really hard on the defense. Their pitcher threw well, he threw hard. We tried to out-power his power and we can’t do that, you just have to stick the bat out and hit the ball.”

Manistee will be back on the diamond on Thursday, April 20 in a non-league doubleheader at Hart.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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