Dowagiac baseball, softball start season with sweep of Marcellus

Published 9:48 am Wednesday, April 13, 2022

DOWAGIAC — After a slightly extended offseason due to weather cancellations and spring break, the Dowagiac baseball and softball teams were finally able to shake off the rust on Tuesday, sweeping Marcellus to begin the season 2-0.

The baseball team made short work of the Wildcats with mercy-rule victories of 10-0 and 16-1, while softball took care of business in 14-7 and 11-1 wins.

“We were off for over 11 days, I think,” said Dowagiac Baseball Coach Keith Schreiber. “It was big that we played, and I thought we played well. For the first time out, I was pleased.”

In game one for the baseball team, sophomore Mason Maggert pitched a five-inning complete-game shutout, striking out 12 and allowing two hits.

“We’re hoping that he’s a guy who maybe emerges as our stopper,” Schreiber said. “We played well defensively behind him, and our bats were good.”

In game two, Henry Weller earned the win, pitching three innings and allowing one hit and striking out three.

The Chieftains scored 14 runs in the second inning. Caydan Dorman led the team with three RBIs over the doubleheader, while Henry Weller, Cole Weller, Ben Klann, Kanyon Binns, Ethan Hannapel each had two RBIs.

While the team ran away with the wins, Schreiber said they still have some work to do ahead of Thursday’s conference battle with Otsego.

“The game’s about to speed up,” said Schreiber, adding the coaches gave the team a talk in between games about not relaxing when you have a big lead. “The more you score, the louder you have to be. … I’ve seen strange things happen in high school baseball. You just never know what’s going to happen. Every team has to learn how to develop a killer instinct as they’re learning how to win. That’s definitely something this team is going to have to work on.”

A similar scenario played out in game one of the softball matchup. Dowagiac jumped out to an 11-1 lead, but let Marcellus back in the game with six errors before pulling away late. The nightcap saw the Chieftains mercy-rule Marcellus in five innings.

“I told them I’ll be able to go home and sleep better after we played better,” said Chieftain Softball Coach Mike Behnke. “We played good defense, didn’t make any errors, hit the ball and did everything else well.”

Sierra Carpenter earned the win in first game, striking out 13 batters, including a rally-stopper in the sixth inning. Sarah Allen got the win in the second game, striking out five.

“Sarah really pounded the strike zone, and that’s what I told her to do,” Behnke said. “She threw a heck of a game.”

Aubrey Busby led the Chieftains with five hits and four RBIs on the day, while Carpenter added three RBIs. Caleigh Wimberley, Riley Mott, Lyla Elrod and Rylee Hudson each had two RBIs.

Both baseball and softball host Otsego Thursday at 4 p.m.