Dowagiac baseball learning the hard way
A young Dowagiac baseball team has had to face some of the area’s perennial powerhouses in the early going.
The Chieftains are just 4-7 heading into today’s Wolverine Conference South Division doubleheader at Edwardsburg. But Dowagiac has already faced South Haven, Decatur, Sturgis and Brandywine.
“Friday’s games were very disappointing for us because again we had a shot to win both games,” Dowagiac coach Dan Schuchardt said. “We had five unearned runs in game one and two unearned runs in game two. We showed up flat and give credit to South Haven they took advantage of our physical mistakes. Our players did not take care of the ball and it cost us a chance to earn two conference wins.”
One of the frustrating parts for Schuchardt is that the Chieftains have been in just about every game this season, but still have not found a way to win.
As a team, Dowagiac is hitting just .303.
Brenden Dudley leads the way with a .436 batting average. He also has six doubles and a team-high 13 RBIs.
Zech Huston is hitting .417 with a double and five RBIs, while Nick Foote is hitting .324 with two doubles and 12 RBIs. Ellijah Williams is hitting .368 in the lead-off spot with three doubles and a team-high six stolen bases.
“Hitting wise I am very pleased with how we put the ball in play during key times,” Schuchardt said. “It was exciting to see the guys have fun in the dugout and having clutch hitting by Austin Jones and Brenden Dudley to come back and tie the game in the sixth inning of game two.”
Dowagiac rallied twice against the Rams, coming up short in the first game 6-4, but scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth to tie the score at 6-6.
The second game was suspended due to darkness.
Consistent pitching will be a key for Dowagiac as it moves into the heart of its schedule.
Dowagiac right now has a team ERA of 5.33.
Dudley also leads the Chieftains on the mound with a 2-1 record and an ERA of 1.46. Foote and Mack Charles have also pitched well for the Chieftains and have ERA’s under 4.00, but have not had much success in picking up wins as they are a combined 1-3.
Schuchardt feels his team is moving in the right direction and hopefully can put it all together beginning tonight in Edwardsburg.
“We are right on the edge of putting together seven innings of both hitting and defense,” Schuchardt said. “In each loss we have found ways to have one bad inning in a game that changes the outcome of the entire game, Schuchardt said. “But, overall I am very pleased with our team defense making the routine plays and keeping pitchers in games because of quick innings. I do see a trend towards putting together more of a complete game which is very encouraging for us.”
SOUTH HAVEN 6-6, DOWAGIAC 4-6
S. Haven 201 210 0 – 6 6 0
Dowagiac 000 012 1 – 4 11 2
Danny Dopp (W), Casey Cooper (S, 7); Brenden Dudley (L), Nick Foote (4).
2B: Dudley (D) 2.
S. Haven 230 010 – 6 8 3
Dowagiac 001 212 – 6 9 3
Andy Klavins (SH); Mack Charles (D).
2B: Bryce Gargus (SH), Brenden Dudley (D), Taylor Dodd (D), Nick Foote (D), Austin Jones (D).