Niles blanks Brandywine 4-0

Published 8:13 am Friday, March 31, 2017

One miscue led to one big inning that allowed Niles to turn its baseball fortunate around Wednesday afternoon.

After five and a half scoreless innings, an error by visiting Brandywine led to four runs and a 4-0 victory for the Vikings, their first of the season.

The Bobcats came into the game having swept River Valley and Lake Michigan Catholic at Notre Dame Monday night.

Through the first 14 innings of the season, Niles had struggled to push runners across the plate having stranded 12 in a 6-5 nine-inning loss to Three Rivers last Friday.

It was more of the same for the Vikings through the first five innings against the Bobcats and freshman pitcher Ty Mickiewicz.

But despite leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, Niles was able to finally break through and drive in some runs thanks in part to an error by Brandywine third baseman Brenden Alvord.

After Keegan Neumann singled off the glove of Brandywine third baseman Alvord, Bryce Lake laid down a bunt that Alvord threw wide of first base allowing Neumman to score.

Jakob Huffman singled home Lake and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Bobcats.

Austin Curran followed with an RBI double and moved to third on Brandywine’s third error of the inning.

The final run scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Drew Huffman.

“I think that’s probably being generous by saying we’re finally hitting the ball,” said Niles coach Mike Vota. “But it was nice to have one inning where we strung a bunch of hits together. But it’s early in terms of at bats. The guys are struggling to see the ball real well. You can tell by their approach. They’re antsy at the plate. They have happy feet and their hands are not technically right.”

Despite the loss, Brandywine coach David Sidenbender saw some good things from his team.

“I thought we played real well for most of the game,” Brandywine coach Dave Sidenbender said. “We just didn’t make a few plays that one inning and we didn’t score. If you have that combination, you’re not going to win. But I thought Ty pitched great and we made the plays until that one inning.”

Niles pitchers Jake Hamm and Tate Stevens combined on a one-hitter with seven strikeouts. Hamm started and worked the first five innings.

Stevens pitched the final two innings to earn the victory.

Mickiewicz worked five innings and took the loss despite not allowing an earned run. The Brandywine freshman struck out three.

Kaci Lintz workd two-thirds of an inning and Caleb Cole recorded the final out for the Bobcats.



At Niles

Brandywine   000   000   0 – 0 1 3

Niles                 000   004   x – 4 6 0

Ty Mickiewicz (L, 0-1), Kaci Lintz (6), Caleb Cole (6); Jake Hamm, Tate Stevens (W, 1-0, 6).

2B: Austin Curran (N)

Records: Brandywine 2-1, Niles 1-1