With quite a bit of youth in the lineup, there's been a lot of room for growth with the Alpena baseball team this season.
While the Wildcats played well against Grosse Pointe North, there was still plenty of room for improvement after the Norsemen picked up 7-1 and 3-1 wins at Alpena High School on Saturday.
Alpena (7-8) kept up with North in the opener for the first few innings, but eventually fell behind as Norsemen pitchers Andrew Remus and Alex Cendrowski combined to throw a one-hitter.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alpena baseball coach Phil Schultz, center, talks to his team during a game on Saturday at Alpena High School against Grosse Pointe North.
Chandler Bloom singled in the seventh inning for Alpena's only hit.
The Wildcats had 10 players reach base and stranded two runners in the third inning, but couldn't bring any of them around to score until the sixth inning when Ryan Hendricks scored on an error.
Alpena coach Phil Schultz said hitting is an area where the Wildcats are still working to get better.
"We're still struggling with that, but that will come with experience," Schultz said. "Our mental approach- we're taking too many good pitches early in the count- then we're putting ourselves in a hole, so we've got to get a better mental approach."
The two teams combined to throw four no-hit innings before a two-run single from David Kracht gave the Norsemen their first hit and a 5-0 lead.
North scored three runs in the third inning after Cody Parafix stole home and two runs scored on an infield error.
"We're making some plays, we're doing some things we have to do, but we're still making some mistakes here and there," Schultz said.
Kracht added an RBI single in the seventh and North also added a run in that inning on a bases-loaded walk.
Luke Cordes started the game for the Wildcats and pitched into the third inning before leaving with arm soreness. Tim Atkinson relieved him and surrendered four hits and three walks while fanning seven.
Hendricks went 4-for-4 with a pair of singles and a pair of doubles in the second game, but only scored once as the Wildcats had trouble getting their base runners home.
Twice Alpena ended an inning with a runner on third and twice Alpena left two runners aboard. The Wildcats got two runners on to lead off the fifth inning, but the threat was neutralized quickly after a fly ball out and a double play.
Alpena outhit the Norsemen 9-4, but a three-run fourth inning proved to be the difference for North, who got a two-run double from Remus in the inning.
Brady Marwede took the loss for Alpena, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Parafin picked up the win for North, fanning four and walking two while giving up nine hits.
The Wildcats finally got on the board in the seventh inning after Hendricks led off the inning with a double and was driven in with an RBI double from Dylan Glennie.
"He had an exceptional game. Unfortunately we didn't get him home until the last inning," Schultz said of Hendricks. "Ryan's our catalyst and he did his job. We just have to find a way to get him home."
In addition to Hendricks' four hits, Glennie and Guilio Fantasia each had two hits and Tim Atkinson had one.
Alpena will play doubleheaders at home on Tuesday and Thursday.