LINCOLN-It was almost too chilly for baseball on Monday, but it was a warm night for the Alcona baseball team's bats when it swept Posen in a doubleheader in a 13-1 mercy and a come-from-behind 5-3 win.
"We had a tremendous improvement in the second game. We're a really young team, one eighth grader and three freshmen and we're playing against these seventeen and eighteen-year olds," Posen coach Pat Kowalski said. "The main thing we have to do is start receiving the ball, start catching the ball and making the plays."
Alcona (12-1) got on the board in the first inning of the first game after Carson Jamieson, who stole first on a dropped ball strikeout, stole second and third. He then made it home on a passed ball to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alcona’s Nathan Fettes (blue) runs toward first base after a hit during a game against Posen on Monday.
Posen (5-3) answered back in the top of the second inning when Nick Hincka walked and made it to home on passed balls. Jordon Jakubcin also walked, but Alcona pitcher Cody Franklin struck out three straight to leave him stranded.
Franklin pitched a no-hitter for the win. He walked four and fanned nine in five innings.
Alcona took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second and added four more in the third to go up 6-1. Brock Franklin drove in two on a double in the third.
Posen's Travis Sharpe pitched the first three innings of the game for the loss. He gave up four hits, six runs, walked two and struck out four.
The Tigers added seven more in the bottom of the fourth. Highlights of this scoring glut included a Trenton LaVergne two-RBI triple and a Nathan Fettes RBI double.
The Vikings went through three pitchers in the fourth inning, many of which were amongst the youngest players on the team. Many of these young players also struggled defensively, leading to several Posen errors.
"Travis pitched a heck of a ball game, but he didn't get the defense behind him. They threw the ball around and (Alcona's) a good ball club and you can't throw the ball around against a good ball club," Kowalski said.
The second game was a much more even affair, with Posen's pitching and fielding showing marked improvement even after Hincka gave up two runs in the top of the first inning to give Alcona the 2-0 lead.
Hincka calmed down after this rocky start and pitched four full innings. He struck out five, walked seven and gave up two hits.
Posen got on the board in the second when Adam Pieczynski drove in Hincka to narrow Alcona's lead to 2-1.
Fettes pitched for the first three and 1/3 innings for Alcona, giving up only two hits and one run and striking out six.
Jamieson replaced Fettes after he gave up a double. Jakubcin drove Hincka to third with a single while a Pieczynski fly out scored Hincka. Jakubcin was then driven in by a Darren Duby single to give Posen a 3-2 lead.
Jamieson finished the game for the win, giving up two runs, four hits and striking out four.
Alcona was held scoreless in the fourth while Posen loaded up the bases with two outs. Jamieson struck out the last batter of the inning to strand three Posen runners and forestall further Posen scoring.
A three-run Tigers rally in the fifth inning helped secure it the win. It started when Hincka walked Franklin. Hincka was replaced by Sharpe who, after snagging a pop fly, gave up an RBI double to LaVergne.
Fettes then drove in LaVergne with a single while Nathan Swinson drove in Fettes to give Alcona the 5-3 win.
"You know I thought it was two pretty good ball games. Posen played really well the last game, they really stuck together and got the runs when they needed them and put the pressure on us," Alcona coach Terry Franklin said. "It was nice to come out on the top of the order and actually get some runs for the win."
Alcona travels to Whittemore-Prescott on Thursday while Posen hosts Rogers City on the same day.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.