Dowagiac faces another strong challenge in Valley

Published 1:06 am Thursday, April 10, 2003

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Dowagiac Daily News
By the time the Dowagiac varsity baseball team hits the Big-16 Conference, the Chieftains will have been well tested by some of the area's best programs.
The Chieftains will take a 5-1 record into this afternoon's non-conference doubleheader with River Valley in Three Oaks.
Dowagiac has already defeated defending state champion Decatur, twice coming from behind. The Chieftains split with Edwardsburg and defeated Gobles and South Haven to win the South Haven Invitational.
Dowagiac coach Andy Kruger would like to see the weather stay nice so that his team could get into a rhythm of practicing and playing.
So far the Chieftains schedule has been helter skelter because of weather and spring break.
Dowagiac plans on throwing Davey Moran in the first game today against the Mustangs and then Jason McIntyre in the second game.
McIntyre is 2-0 on the season with an ERA of 0.64. He has thrown 11 innings, allowing one earned run on six hits with 13 strikeouts and only five walks.
Moran is 1-0 on the year. He has also worked 11 innings and has an ERA of 0.64. Moran has allowed one run on four hits with nine strikeouts and four walks.
As a team the Chieftains are hitting .329.
Jonathon Bartee leads the squad with a batting average of .444. Bartee has two doubles, a triple and a home run. He has also driven in eight runs -- second best on the squad.
Richie Burling is hitting .438 with two doubles, a home run and a team-high nine RBIs. Chris Singleton is hitting an even .400.
Jeff Cooper is hitting .389 with six RBIs and two doubles, while Matt Stewart and Matthew Carlson are both hitting .375.
Dowagiac already has 10 or more hits in half of its games. The team set a season goal to have at least 11 games with 10 or more hits.
After stealing 110 bases last season, Dowagiac is off to another good start this year. The Chieftains are 10-of-15 in the stolen base department through six contests.
Kruger said that he has been impressed so far by the way his team has performed, especially in the clutch.
Today's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.