Evan Hartman tossed a four-hitter for the Bobcats on Tuesday as they split a Lakeland Conference doubleheader with Edwardsburg. (Daily Star photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Archived Story

Brandywine splits with Edwardsburg

Published 7:28am Wednesday, May 11, 2011

EDWARDSBURG — The Edwardsburg Eddies played host to the Brandywine Bobcats in a Lakeland conference doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon and at the end of the day the two teams had split with each team winning 7-0.

In the first game the Eddies put their ace on the mound in junior Kyle Slack and he would not disappoint. Slack would throw a complete game one-hit shutout while racking up eleven strikeouts.

The Bobcats had some chances to put some runs across; they just couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities.

For Brandywine, Alex Erwin was on the mound, and although he allowed seven runs to cross the plate, only one of those runs was earned as the ‘Cats committed three errors in the contest.

“We didn’t field well and that was the difference,” said Bobcat coach David Sidenbender.

Edwardsburg plated their first runner in the bottom of the third inning as senior Dan Witucki led off the inning with a single. He moved to second on a walk to Evan Zimmerman. After a fly ball to left field gave the Eddies their first out of the inning, Mike Kempton doubled plating Witucki giving the home team the 1-0 lead. The next batter, Ethan Zimmerman lined a rope to third baseman Brian Exner who hauled it in and stepped on third for the double play ending the Eddies rally.

After a three up three down top half of the fourth, Edwardsburg started to follow suit in the bottom half as their first two batters each grounded out. With two outs, Ian Lower doubled to right, Ethan Moreno was hit by a pitch, and then Witcuki reached on an error. Evan Zimmerman would single, scoring Lower and Moreno, followed by a Zayne Guernsey single that would plate Witucki and Zimmerman. Guernsey would come across on another Bobcat error bringing the score to 6-0.

Edwardsburg would score another run in the bottom of the fifth bringing the score to 7-0, while Slack managed to strikeout five of the last six Bobcats he faced to end the game.

In the nightcap, it was Brandywine’s Evan Hartman on the mound facing Edwardsburg’s Zach Thompson, with Hartman getting the better end of the matchup.

Both pitchers appeared to be on their game as both teams went three up, three down in each of the first two innings.

In the third inning Kyle Duncan reached base via a walk, but the Bobcats could not advance him around. The Eddies got a leadoff walk from Evan Zimmerman, but he was thrown out by Brandywine catcher Austin Searles as he was trying to steal second. Matt Toney then proceeded to walk, followed by Jason Schimpa who was hit by a pitch, but even with runners on first and second and only one out, Edwardsburg failed to push the runners across the plate too.

The fourth inning is when the wheels started to come off for Thompson, and the Bobcat bats started to come alive.

Exner led off the inning with a single, followed by a perfectly executed hit and run single by Searles. Erwin’s groundout to the third baseman was enough to plate Exner and the Bobcats were in business. Hartman helped his own cause as he flew out to centerfield, just deep enough to score Searles on the sacrifice fly. Two more Brandywine walks kept the inning alive before the Eddies finally recorded the final out.

Brian Kline led off the fifth inning with a single for the ’Cats, then Buck Bourdon reached on an error allowing both runners to advance another base. Another single by Exner plated both Bobcat runners and the Bobcats were up 4-0.

Witucki reached first on a bunt single in the sixth, and went to second on the walk to Thompson, but once again the Eddies could not get the timely hit to plate any runners.

Leading 4-0 in the top of the seventh, the Bobcats took advantage of their opportunities. A walk by Kline, and another Eddies error, and the Bobcats had runners on second and third with one out. Exner then laid down a bunt as Kline was stealing home and the play worked exactly as the Bobcats had drawn it up. The ’Cats managed a couple of more runs on Edwardsburg errors, and a wild pitch bringing the score to 7-0 heading to the home half of the final inning.

The Eddies who only had two hits coming into the inning doubled that total with their first two batters as Moreno and Zimmerman led off the inning with a single and double respectively. After a walk to Toney loaded the bases with nobody out, Brandywine pulled Hartman in favor of Erwin, and it was the right call as Erwin struck out three straight Edwardsburg batters, giving the Bobcats the 7-0 victory, and Edwardsburg their first conference loss.

“We settled down and put the ball in play,” said Sidenbender. “Instead of trying to jack it somewhere we started to put it (the ball) in play. We had a couple of hit and runs go our way, and a couple of bunts. Those are the things that help our offense”.

Exner finished with three RBI’s for the ‘Cats in the second game, while Hartman threw six innings, allowing four hits, but most importantly, no runs.

“Brian (Exner) is our only senior starter, he is a leader, he is out there giving it everything he’s got and I am really happy with his effort,” said Sidenbender.

In the other dugout, Edwardsburg coach A.J Gadieski simply put it like this: “Our pitcher pitched great the first game, and their pitcher pitched great the second game.”

First game

Brandywine 000 000 0 — 0 1 3

Edwardsburg 001 510 x — 7 7 1

WP – Kyle Slack (Ian Lower)

LP – Alex Erwin (Austin Searles)

Second game

Brandywine 000 2203 — 7 4 0

Edwardsburg 000 0000 — 0 4 3

WP – Evan Hartman (Searles)

LP – Zach Thompson (Zayne Guernsey)

St. Joseph…14-5

Niles…3-0

St. Joseph came into Niles Tuesday afternoon with a score to settle.

The Vikings had defeated the Bears earlier this season in a tournament.

St. Joseph more than got even with Niles as it defeated the Vikings 14-3 and 5-0 in a Big 16 Conference West Division doubleheader.

St. Joseph led 3-2 through three innings, but scored four in the fourth, two in the fifth and five in the sixth to turn the game into a rout.

Riley Robson took the loss with relief help from Taylor Purucker.

The Vikings finished with four hits — one each from Zach Holt, Taylor Campbell, Matthew McLaughlin and Logan Harpenau.

Niles managed just four hits in the second game against the Bears.

Chris Mangus doubled, while Campbell, Robson and Mitchell Dehn all singled.

Dehn took the loss with relief help from Cody Taggart.

First game

St. Joseph 003 042 5 – 14 11 1

Niles 110 100 0 – 3 4 2

Ross (W)

Riley Robson (L), Taylor Purucker (5)

2B: Taylor (SJ), Frotzke (SJ)

Second game

St. Joseph 000 041 0 – 5 7 3

Niles 000 000 0 – 0 4 3

Frotzke (W)

Mitchell Dehn (L), Cody Taggart (5)

2B: Chris Mangus (N)

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