Good pitching leads South Haven to sweepPublished 7:20am Saturday, April 27, 2013
Although the weather Friday afternoon more closely resembled spring, it was the same old story for the Dowagiac baseball team.
South Haven pitchers Chris Davis and Trenton Smiley commanded the strike zone during both ends of the Wolverine Conference West Division doubleheader and led the Rams to a pair of victories over the winless Chieftains, 9-1 and 6-2. The second game was halted after six innings due to impending darkness.
“It’s been two weeks since we’ve played,” said Dowagiac coach Bob Turner, whose team dipped to 0-7 overall and 0-3 in the Wolverine West. “We’re still waiting for that spring weather where you can play and start having some fun.”
Davis, a four-year standout for coach Dave McWhinnie’s South Haven squad, had a hand in making things less than fun for Dowagiac in the first game.
The right-hander pitched a complete gem, checking the Chieftains on four hits. He also struck out nine batters and walked just three.
“Chris has been a great pitcher for us since he was a freshman and he’s a great leader,” McWhinnie said. “If you’re in a big game, that’s the guy you want on the mound.”
Davis also blasted a three-run home run off Dowagiac starter Cal Cox in the second inning, and scored two runs for the Rams.
Cox pitched the first five innings for Dowagiac, en route to the loss. He also plated the Chieftains’ lone run on a first-inning double and added a single in the sixth inning to account for half of the team’s hits.
“We need to try to stop hitting every ball out of the park,” Turner said about Dowagiac’s anemic offense. “We need to start making contact.”
Things didn’t get much better for the Chieftains in the nightcap, as Smiley fanned 12 Dowagiac hitters and surrendered just four hits.
A trio of Dowagiac pitchers worked in the second game, but all three struggled to throw strikes.
“They hit the ball real well, obviously,” Turner said about South Haven, which collected 17 hits on the day. “We haven’t made as many errors as we did last year and we can make the plays, we just can’t walk two guys and then expect to make the plays.”
Cox collected another RBI in the second game, and Dean Klann’s single in the second inning scored teammate Matt Smith.
“We knew we were going to face Cal Cox and we figured we weren’t going to score a whole lot of runs against him,” McWhinnie said. “But the good pitching, some timely hitting and good defense by guys who weren’t even playing in the normal positions helped us get a couple of wins.”
South Haven 013 022 1 – 9 8 1
Dowagiac 100 000 0 – 1 4 1
Chris Davis (W) and Adam Macyauski; Cal Cox (L), Austin Broda (6), Brody Froehlich (7) and Brett Scanlon
South Haven hits: Tony Canonie 2 (double, home run), Davis 2 (home run), Danny Dopp 3, Mitch Kreiger
Dowagiac hits: Broda, Cox 2 (double), Zach Williams
South Haven 140 001 – 6 9 0
Dowagiac 110 000 – 2 4 0
Trenton Smiley (W) and Macyauski; Scanlon (L), Froehlich (2), Wiker (6) and Broda
South Haven hits: Canonie 2 (double), Zach Nelson, Dopp, Alex Washegesic 2 (double), Evan Johnson, Macyauski, Kreiger
Dowagiac hits: Dean Klann, Scanlon, Froehlich, Josh Richards
Dowagiac record: 0-7, 0-3 West Division