Eddies win season openerPublished 11:24pm Monday, March 26, 2012
EDWARDSBURG —There are high expectations this year for Edwardsburg High School senior baseball pitcher Kyle Slack.
He got off to a good start Monday in the Eddies season-opener against Three Rivers.
In the first game of a doubleheader, the 6-foot-8 University of Toledo recruit allowed only three hits and struck out nine over four innings in a 4-0 Edwardsburg win. Game two was called with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning because of darkness. Three Rivers was leading at the time, 3-1.
Slack, who posted a 6-1 record and 0.67 earned run average as a junior, was able to overcome his wildness (three hit batters, one walk and two wild pitches). The Wildcats stranded six baserunners against the Eddies standout.
“His confidence level has improved,” said Edwardsburg coach A.J. Gaideski about Slack. “He knows he can get out of situations and he’s able to move the ball inside and out. He’s not afraid to go inside. When it starts getting warm out he’s really going to heat it up on the mound.”
Caleb Dill relieved Slack in the fifth inning and their wasn’t much drop off. Over three innings, Dill allowed only two hits and struck out three.
“His pitch count was up,” Gaideski said on why he took Slack out of the game. “I didn’t want him to go any more than 60 to 65 pitches.
“Both guys, for the most part, came out and threw strikes and kept batters off balance by changing speeds. They also threw inside and outside. They did an excellent job.”
Slack and Dill also got some solid defensive play behind their pitching. The Eddies had only one error.
Three Rivers pitchers Sam Shutes and Kyle Ochsenrider didn’t get the same support from their fielders. The Wildcats had five errors, which led to all four of Edwardsburg runs being unearned.
Michael Kempton reached on an error to start the game for the Eddies and scored on another error on a ball thrown home to Three Rivers catcher Austin Pratt later in the inning.
Two more errors from Three Rivers in the second inning helped Edwardsburg score two more unearned runs in the second inning. Edwardsburg took a 2-0 lead after Austin Meadows stole home as part of a double steal.
“I like to be aggressive,” Gaideski said. “We got some speed on this team and we’re going to use it.”
Maris Marazita’s sacrifice fly gave Edwardsburg a 3-0 lead in the second.
The Eddies final unearned run came in the fourth inning. Jason Schimpa singled to start the inning, went to third after two groundouts and score on a fielding error by Ochsenrider, who was playing third base.
Kempton singled twice in the opener for Edwardsburg.
In game two, Three Rivers scored three runs in the first inning off of Edwardsburg freshman pitcher Dalton Raymond. Edwardsburg scored its lone run in the third on a wild pitch.
“The bats are going to be there,” Gaideski said. “It’s early and usually pitchers are ahead of everybody. That’s what you saw tonight. We just want to put the ball in play and see what happens.”
Three Rivers 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
Edwardsburg 120 010 0 — 4 5 5
Sam Shutes (L, 0-1), Kyle Ochsenrider (4) and Austin Pratt; Kyle Slack (W, 1-0), Caleb Dill (5-S) and Brett Bowman.
Three Rivers 0-1, Edwardsburg 1-0