Edwardsburg’s Ethan Zimmerman gets hit by a pitch during Tuesday’s Lakeland Conference doubleheader with arch rival Cassopolis. The Eddies swept the Rangers to improve to 4-1 in league play. (Edwardsburg Argus Photo/RON HARNER)

Archived Story

Edwardsburg takes pair

Published 10:37pm Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pitching carried Edwardsburg’s baseball team to a pair of Lakeland Conference wins Tuesday against Cassopolis. The Eddies won the opener of the doubleheader, 8-0, and won game two, 7-2.

In game one Edwardsburg pitcher Kyle Slack tossed a four-hitter and struck out 13, while in game two Eddies pitcher Jordan Bosse hurled a one-hitter, allowed one earned run and struck out 11. Slack got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, while Bosse overcame six walks.

“Slack did a great job,” said Edwardsburg coach A.J. Gaideski. “He kept them off balance after the first inning. He did a great job of moving his pitches around. He’s got a live arm and the warmer it gets the faster he’ll be.

“As soon as (Bosse) cuts down on his walks and has good control he’s going to be a great pitcher. He got off to a little bit of a late start. He had a little bit of a sore arm at the beginning of the year. Once we get him going he’s going to be tough.”

On offense, Edwardsburg took advantage of Cassopolis’ wildness on the mound in game one. The Rangers issued eight walks and hit four batters. Three of the walks came around to score and three of the hit batters scored.

“Not making excuses, but we hadn’t played since Tuesday,” said Cassopolis coach Matt Brawley. “Coming back and pitching with a week off is tough to do.”

In game one, the Eddies scored five runs on just two hits in the first inning. Michael Kempton collected a two-run single in the inning and Ian Lower added an RBI single. Slack drew a bases-loaded walk and Austin Meadows hit a sacrifice fly.

Edwardsburg added a run on Kempton’s sacrifice fly in the third inning and got an RBI single from Ethan Zimmerman in a two-run fourth.

Slack, who came into the game with a 0.95 earned run average and 37 strikeouts over 22 innings, retired 17 of the final 19 batters he faced.

“He’s a big-time talent,” Brawley said about Slack. “The kid is going to win ball games when he’s on the mound. He’s tough.”

Game two was tied at 2 after three innings. Cassopolis scored a run on a wild pitch in the second inning and added an unearned run in the third. Hustle helped Edwardsburg score a run in the second. Ian Lower scored all the way from second base on Slack’s bunt groundout. Caleb Dill had an RBI groundout in the third for the Eddies.

Edwardsburg loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning. Singles by Dill and Ian Lower (on a bunt) and an intentional walk to Slack, after Dill and Lower were balked to second and third, produced that situation.

Then came the play of the game. Kempton’s squeeze bunt back to the pitcher was thrown home and the runner was called safe. That started a five-run inning for the Eddies.

“The squeeze play was a tough call,” Brawley said. “I thought we were on the bag (home plate) and (the umpire) said we weren’t. The final decision is his. We let that shake us the rest of the inning.”

“I just wanted us to get ahead any way we could,” Gaideski said on why he used the squeeze bunt. “We had a great bunter up and we wanted him to lay it down and he did a great job of laying it down. We did a great job of getting bunts down.”

Bosse’s two-run single extended Edwardsburg’s lead to 6-2 in the sixth.

“He just came alive when he needed to,” Gaideski said about Bosse’s bat. “He did a nice job of getting a single there which helped his cause (on the mound).”

Cassopolis had a runner on third base with one out in the fifth but was unable to score. Brawley was asked if his team had a letdown after not scoring in that inning.

“No, our team was pretty upbeat the whole time,” the Rangers coach said.

First game

Cassopolis 000 000 0 – 0 4 0

Edwardsburg 501 200 x – 8 4 0

Dwayne Morgan (L, 1-2), Taylor Baker (4) and Jeremiah Hertsell; Kyle Slack (W, 5-0) and Ian Lower

Second game

Cassopolis 011 000 0 – 2 1 1

Edwardsburg 011 005 x – 7 5 1

Kevin Hatcher, Nate Blad (4) and Jeremiah Hertsell; Jordan Bosse (W, 2-1) and Ian Lower

2B: Kyle Slack (E)

Varsity records

Cassopolis 5-9, 1-6 Lakeland; Edwardsburg 9-5, 4-1 Lakeland

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