Niles rallies in fifth inning to win opener

Published 1:13 am Friday, April 11, 2003

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Things were looking bleak for the Niles baseball team in its season opener Thursday at Thomas Stadium.
The Vikings had put the ball in play just three times in the first four innings and had no hits off South Bend Adams pitcher Shaun Dennin. The Eagles, meanwhile, had built a 2-0 lead and added one more run in the top of the fifth inning.
Then the Vikings caught a break. Dennin walked three of the first five batters in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases for Niles sophomore Cory Coquillard. Coquillard responded by ripping a double between left and center field, bringing in all three runners. Ryne Dowling followed with a single down the third base line that scored Coquillard and Niles had the lead it would hold the rest of the way for a 4-3 win.
Dennin finished with 15 strikeouts and just three hits allowed, but still lost in his first outing.
Brooks Bonner started on the mound for Niles and lasted five innings with three strikeouts and three hits allowed. Sophomore Matt Richardson finished the game pitching for the Vikings and earned the save.
Casey Hood had the only other hit for Niles, a single up the middle in the first inning. Hood was stranded on third base, however.
The Eagles' first run came on a passed ball and the second run was the indirect result of another passed ball. Junior Kyle Kidwell was playing his first game at catcher for the Vikings. He was a pitcher and part-time infielder for Niles last season.
Niles, now 1-0, returns to action Saturday at home for a doubleheader with cross-town rival Brandywine at noon.
The Niles junior varsity baseball team opened its season with a 7-4, 8-1 sweep of South Bend Adams.
Jesse Sallak and Lyle Watson each earned pitching victories for the Vikings. Dane Ford hit a triple in the second game while Lyle Watson and Rick Storm each hit three singles on the day. Aaron Ralston and Grant Bonner each hit a pair of singles.
Adams 101 010 0--3 3 1
Niles 000 040 x--4 3 2
Brooks Bonner (W, 1-0), Matt Richardson (6, S) and Kyle Kidwell; Shaun Dennin (L, 0-1) and Nick Pogotis.
2B: Cory Coquillard (N), Dustin Kurnyak (A)
Team records: Niles 1-0, Adams 0-3