Rangers edge Chieftains 4-3Published 10:34pm Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The Dowagiac baseball team was scheduled to have had six games under its belt heading into Tuesday’s non-conference doubleheader against cross-county rival Cassopolis.
But Mother Nature had other plans.
Despite the threat of scattered afternoon showers, the two teams dodged the rain drops and split the twinbill at Rotary Park. Cassopolis eked out a 4-3 victory in the first game.
The Chieftains were leading 3-2 in the nightcap, but the contest was suspended after four innings due to impending darkness.
“It’s great,” Dowagiac coach Bob Turner said when asked about his team finally getting the chance to play games. “We’re spinning our wheels in the gym. You can scrimmage against yourselves out here, but (games) get your blood flowing. It’s just great to work up a sweat and have it mean something.”
In the opener, Dowagiac starter Cal Cox was masterful in his four innings of work. The right-hander yielded just one hit, struck out 10 Rangers and departed the game with his team leading, 1-0.
Enter Lance Sheteron.
The Cassopolis sophomore swatted a two-run double in the fifth inning and added a single in the seventh that accounted for the winning run against Dowagiac reliever, Brody Froehlich.
“He’s a big hit guy and there’s nobody that we want up more than him with guys in scoring position, because nine times out of 10 he’s going to produce,” Cassopolis coach Matt Brawley said about Sheteron. “He did today.”
Tyler Prestly earned the mound win for Cassopolis in relief of starter, Kevin Hatcher. Prestly surrendered three hits and one walk in his three innings of work, and struck out the final three Dowagiac hitters he faced. Hatcher gave up just one hit and fanned four Chieftains in a four-inning stint.
“Their guy threw good,” Turner said. “I knew they had good pitching, and you can’t take that away from them. It’s the first game of the year. Their pitchers threw strikes and we didn’t hit it all that great, but we will.”
“(Hatcher and Prestly) showed great leadership today,” Brawley added.
Sheteron staked the Rangers to a 2-0 lead with a two-run single in the third inning of the second game, but the Chieftains refused to quit.
Cox lined a two-run single of his own up the middle in the bottom of the third inning to tie the score. The Chieftains added a run in the fourth inning when a double by Garrett Stark and a throwing error by the Rangers allowed Stark to cross the plate.
Brett Scanlon was in line for the mound victory for Dowagiac in relief of starter, Nate Lindsey. Scanlon yielded one hit, one walk and struck out four Rangers.
J.J. Smith was on the hill for Cassopolis (2-0).
Cassopolis 000 030 1 – 4 7 2
Dowagiac 001 002 0 – 3 4 1
Kevin Hatcher, Tyler Prestly (5, W) and Austin Green; Cal Cox, Brody Froehlich (5, L) and Brett Scanlon.
Cassopolis hits: Prestly 2, Lance Sheteron 3 (2B), Jessie Richie, Nick Baker
Dowagiac hits: Austin Broda, Cox, Scanlon, Garrett Stark
Cassoplis 002 0 – 2 2 2
Dowaiac 002 1 – 3 3 0
JJ Smith and Green; Nate Lindsey, Scanlon and Broda
Cassopolis hits: Sheteron, Green
Dowagiac hits: Cox, Stark (2B), Matt Smith
Records: Cassopolis 2-0-1, Dowagiac 0-1-1