Dowagiac takes first game; Niles rallies to win the nightcap

Published 12:20 pm Thursday, May 18, 2006

By By TOM NYHUIS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Despite the sunny skies turning dark and rain returning to Niles Wednesday afternoon, the Niles Vikings varsity baseball team came away with a Big 16 Conference West Division split with Dowagiac.
Dowagiac picked up an 8-5 win in the opening game, which had a 25-minute rain delay after four and a half innings were played.
Niles came back in the nightcap and took a 5-2 victory in a five inning game, which was called after the skies darkened and the rain returned.
In the opening game, Jake Cox (7-0) picked up the win, giving up 11 hits.
Jake Ferguson was tagged with the loss, allowing nine hits and walking two. Five of the nine runs were earned as the Viking defense committed seven errors in the game.
Leading the Vikings at the plate was Lyle Watson's 2-for-3 outing, which included a double. Asaad Ali and Drew Donohue also rapped doubles for the Vikings.
Dowagiac's Jamie Simpson swatted a two-run homer in the top of the sixth to give the Chiefs an 8-4 lead.
Dowagiac opened the game with four runs in the top of the first and the Vikings were playing from behind from the start. Niles cut the lead in half with two runs in the bottom of the first and added another run in the third to trail 4-3. Two runs by Dowagiac in the fourth put them up by three before the rain delay.
Niles was able to tag a run on in the bottom of the fifth once the game resumed and another in the sixth. Dowagiac's opportunity to break open the game with a big inning was stopped with a triple play by the Viking defense. With runners on first and second the Chiefs put on a hit and run play. The ball was popped up to the first baseman in foul territory. He threw the ball to Ferguson covering first for the second out and his throw to second reached the bag before the Dowagiac runner could get back to the bag for the triple play.
Drew Donohue picked up the victory in game two and also led his team at the plate going 3-for-3 with two doubles. Donohue gave up five hits and struck out four for the win. Both of the Chiefs' runs were earned. Jason Fryman picked up the loss on the mound for Dowagiac giving up nine hits.
Niles scored a run in the first and added two more in the third for a 3-0 lead. Dowagiac came back with two runs in the fourth but the Vikings extended the lead back to three with two more runs crossing the dish in their half of the fourth.
Niles held the Chiefs in the top of the fifth as the skies grew dark and the rain returned.
Simpson was 2-for-3 in the nightcap for the Chieftains, while Mike Kasper had a two-run single.
First game
Dowagiac 400 202 0 - 8 9 1
Niles 201 011 0 - 5 8 7
Jake Cox (W, 7-0), Jake Ferguson (L)
2B: Lyle Watson (N), Drew Donohue (N), Asaad Ali (N)
HR: Jamie Simpson (D)
Second game
Dowagiac 000 20 - 2 4 4
Niles 103 1x - 5 7 0
Drew Donohue (W), Jason Fryman (L, 6-3)
2B: Dustin Anderson (N) 2