Bobcats, Rangers split Lakeland twinbillPublished 10:30pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013
There were three great pitching performances in Tuesday’s Lakeland Conference baseball doubleheader between Brandywine and Cassopolis.
The opener featured a pitcher’s duel between the Rangers’ Kevin Hatcher and the Bobcats’ Kyle Duncan with Cassopolis eventually prevailing, 4-2, in nine innings. In game two, Brandywine pitcher Alex Walters threw a one-hitter as the Bobcats won 11-1.
Hatcher was the winning pitcher in game one. He allowed no earned runs, three hits and struck out 10. He came into the game with 0.70 earned run average.
“I thought he did an outstanding job,” said Cassopolis coach Matt Brawley. “He got ahead with the breaking ball and threw his fastball for strikes. He pitched a nine-inning game and threw 100 pitches. Pretty incredible.”
Duncan hurled a four-hitter, allowed one earned run and struck out nine. He retired 19 straight batters from the second inning into the ninth.
Tyler Prestly led-off the ninth with a single for the Rangers and went to third on Vashaun Morgan’s single. Prestly scored on Hatcher’s RBI groundout and Morgan also scored on the play after a Brandywine error.
“We were going to try to bunt (Prestly) over and we didn’t do it,” Brawley said. “We had a hit-and-run after that and it worked out perfect. Kevin came up next and put the ball in play. (Morgan) was stealing too because (Hatcher’s groundout to short) was a double play ball. When Kevin is pitching like that two runs is all you need.”
Jessie Richie’s two-run double gave Cassopolis a 2-1 lead in the second inning. Brandywine tied the game at 2 in the third after scoring an unearned run.
Walters gave up his lone hit in game two to start the sixth inning when Hatcher singled for the Rangers. The lone run Walters allowed was unearned in the sixth.
“I thought our pitching was awesome,” said Brandywine coach Dave Sidenbender about his two starting pitchers. “Kyle pitched well enough to win the first game. I thought, for the most part, we played good defense too. On offense, in the first game, we had a couple opportunities that we didn’t cash in on. (Cassopolis) executed. In that ninth inning they had a great hit-and-run and they scored on a ground ball.”
Brandywine banged out 13 hits in game two and scored three runs in the first, third and fifth inning. Duncan and Zach Grishaber each collected two hits and three RBIs for the Bobcats. Brock Hartline added two hits and two RBIs and Cole Searles contributed two hits and an RBI.
Sidenbender was asked why his team hit better in game two.
“Kevin Hatcher wasn’t pitching,” the Brandywine coach said. “He’s one of the best pitchers around. Not to say anything bad about the guys that have, but when you don’t have to face (Hatcher) it makes things a whole lot easier. He pitched an awesome game in the first game. We also hit the ball a little better in the second game.”
Cassopolis 020 000 002 – 4 4 2
Brandywine 101 000 000 – 2 3 2
Kevin Hatcher (W, 3-1) and Tyler Prestly; Kyle Duncan (L, 3-3) and Ashton Kwieran.
2B: Jesse Richie (C), Cole Searles (B), Kyle Basly (B)
Cassopolis 000 001 – 1 1 2
Brandywine 303 032 – 11 13 4
J.J. Smith (L, 2-1), Vashaun Morgan (1), Tyler Prestly (3) and Prestly, A.J. Green; Alex Walters (W, 4-1) and Ashton Kwieran
2B: Mike Pancoast (B), Cole Searles (B), Walters (B)
Varsity records: Cassopolis 9-8, 1-3 Lakeland Conference; Brandywine 10-8-1, 1-3 Lakeland Conference