Chippewa baseball swept at 350 Club tournament

Manistee third baseman Andrew Jackoviak throws home during the Chippewas' game against Benzie Central in the Chippewa 350 Club tournament at Rietz Park on Saturday. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

Manistee third baseman Andrew Jackoviak throws home during the Chippewas’ game against Benzie Central in the Chippewa 350 Club tournament at Rietz Park on Saturday. (Kyle Kotecki/For the News Advocate)

By KYLE KOTECKI

For the News Advocate

MANISTEE — The Manistee baseball team hosted the 350 Club Invitational tournament Saturday. They fell 9-0 to Benzie Central and then 5-0 to Mason County Central in the consolation game.

“Our offense is not coming around the way we thought it would,” said Manistee baseball coach Dave Edmondson. “Our defense isn’t playing strong and we’re giving up runs we shouldn’t be giving up. That’s really the difference in both games.”

The Huskies jumped out of the gates quickly in the first game, scoring two runs in the first inning, three in the second and four in the third. The game was called after five innings due to time constraints.

“We get good pitching performances,” Edmondson said. “We just don’t make plays behind them. We do little things that cost us runs, and the way we hit the ball, we’re not hitting well. We can’t give up very many runs.”

Evan Bauman was the starting pitcher and Abdiel Nunez threw in relief.

Mamistee had a stronger showing in the consolation game, giving up three runs in the first and two in the fourth but otherwise holding the Spartans scoreless in the six-inning affair.

Raymond Schwass was a bright spot for the Chippewas, giving up just one hit in a shutout inning of relief and eliciting a commotion from fans, teammates and opposing players alike with his high-arcing and surprisingly effective secret weapon that takes its good sweet time reaching the catcher’s mitt.

“That’s his curveball,” Edmondson said of the pitch. “We call it the Gravity Pitch, because it goes up, and the only reason it’s coming down is because of gravity. There’s nothing really behind it.”

The pitch is the result of a happy accident.

“(I’ve thrown the pitch) since the beginning of the year,” Schwass said. “I tried throwing a curveball and accidentally threw that.”

With postseason play on the horizon, the tournament served as a learning experience upon which the Chips can build moving forward.

“We play a tournament so it gets us ready for Districts, and that’s really what our main focus is,” Edmondson said. “We’re just going to try and prepare every game and practice for Districts and see what happens there.”

Manistee hosts Muskegon Orchard View in a Lakes-8 doubleheader at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

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