A Texas Ranger scout watched Kyle Slack’s outing Tuesday against Berrien Springs. (Edwardsburg Argus Photo/RON HARNER)

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Rangers check out Slack

Published 1:27pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

A major league baseball scout from the Texas Rangers was in attendance Tuesday to watch Edwardsburg pitcher Kyle Slack in game one of a doubleheader against Berrien Springs.

Slack wasn’t great, but was solid on the mound, as he improved to 3-0 and led the Eddies to an 8-2 Lakeland Conference win in the opener. In game two, the Shamrocks posted a 5-3 win.

The 6-foot-8 Slack, who has signed to play baseball next year at the University of Toledo, tossed a three-hitter, struck out 10, walked two batters and hit two batters for the Eddies. Slack came into the game with a 0.67 earned run average with 27 strikeouts over 15 innings.

“He struggled, for him, early on,” said Edwardsburg baseball coach A.J. Gaideski about Slack. “He was up in the strike zone a little bit. He settled down in the last three innings and really pitched well.”

Gaideski was asked if Slack, who retired the final 10 Shamrock batters, knew if a pro baseball scout was in the stands watching him.

“I think so,” the Eddies coach said. “I really don’t know if that affected him.”

Slack also made an impact as a hitter in the opener. His two-run double in the third inning gave Edwardsburg a 5-2 lead. Mike Kempton’s two-run single highlighted a three-run second inning for the Eddies.

The hosts put the game away by scoring three runs in the fifth inning to take an 8-2 lead. Jason Schimpa hit an RBI single and Jordan Bosse added an RBI groundout in the fifth. The first run in the inning came home on a balk.

Berrien Springs issued five walks and had four errors in game one.

“We can play better baseball than we played in the first game,” said Berrien Springs coach John Donley. “But Edwardsburg got some clutch hits and made the plays and Slack pitched a great game so give credit to them.”

Everrett Shembarger and Andy Burton each had RBI singles in the second inning for the Shamrocks.

In game two, Berrien Springs jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings and held on for the win. Kory Martin had a two-run single for the Shamrocks in a three-run second inning. In the third inning for Berrien Springs, Burton collected an RBI double and Nate Dennis added an RBI single.

Winning pitcher Kyle Rago allowed no earned runs and struck out seven in improving his record to 3-0.

“Kyle Rago was wilder than he usually is,” Donley said. “Going into the day I think he had walked two over 25 innings so he put himself in a jam some today and he got out of the jams.

Edwardsburg scored its first run on Matt Toney’s sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. Maris Marazita’s two-run double with two outs in the seventh inning cut Berrien Springs’ lead to 5-3. Rago retired Caleb Dill on a groundout back to the pitcher to end the game.

“We played a pretty good game in the first game,” Gaideski said. “We allowed too many walks (six) in the second game and that doomed us.” Three of the walks scored for Berrien Springs.

Kempton and Marazita each totaled two hits in game two for the Eddies, who finished with seven hits.

“I thought we really hit the ball well (in the second game),” Gaideski said. “We had hard shots that just happened to be hit right at people.”

First game

Berrien 002 000 0 – 2 3 4

Edwardsburg 032 030 x – 8 4 0

Everrett Shembarger (L, 2-3), Andy Burton (6) and Matt Rudlaff; Kyle Slack (W, 3-0) and Brett Bowman

2B: Slack (E)

Second game

Berrien 032 000 0 – 5 6 2

Edwardsburg 000 001 2 – 3 7 1

Kyle Rago (W, 3-0) and Matt Rudlaff; Jordan Bosse (L, 1-1), Caleb Dill (6) and Brett Bowman.

2B: Andy Burton (B), Jason Schimpa (E), Maris Marazita (E)

Varsity records

Berrien Springs 8-5, 3-3 Lakeland; Edwardsburg 6-4, 2-1 Lakeland

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