Alpena baseball team loses season opener to Midland Dow

MIDLAND–The Alpena High baseball team’s 2019 campaign got off to a rough start on Friday.

The Wildcats had nearly as many hits as they did errors and couldn’t overcome a late surge by Midland Dow, ultimately losing 12-2 in its season opener.

Dow also won the nightcap, 5-2.

Alpena (0-2) trailed 5-2 after five innings in the opener, but the Chargers hung seven runs on the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull further ahead.

Alpena finished the game with two runs on six hits and also committed five errors.

“I took some positives from (today). Defensively, we were a little shaky and we walked too many guys, but we were able to get outside and get everybody some playing time,” Alpena coach Phil Schultz said.

Bruz Copping took the loss for Alpena in the first game, allowing two runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one.

Dow scored a run in the bottom of the second and Kyle VanDusen answered back in the top of third inning, with single to right to score Clay Donajkowski.

Dow took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and added another in the fifth.

VanDusen added another RBI in the top of the fifth, scoring Donajkowski on a fielder’s choice.

VanDusen, Colin Donajkowski, Clay Donajkowski, Alex Cosbitt, Aidan Goike and Chris DeRocher each had a hit.

The Wildcats fared better in the second game, but couldn’t rally all the way back from an early deficit. Dow scored five runs through three innings and Alpena answered with a pair in the fifth inning.

VanDusen and Copping scored on separate wild pitches during the same at-bat with two outs in the fifth inning.

Copping had two hits and VanDusen, Clay Donajkowski, Colby Plowman and Keegan Spomer each had one.

Spomer took the loss for Alpena, allowing four hits and five runs with five strikeouts in four innings.

Schultz said some of Alpena’s newcomers struggled on the mound, but the season-opening twin bill gave players of all positions a chance to get their feet wet.

“We haven’t even been outside for a full practice yet, but compared to last year at least we got our foot in the door,” Schultz said.

The Alpena JV baseball team also opened at Dow and split with the Chargers. Alpena won the first game 10-4 and dropped the second game 5-2.

In the first game, Travis Weide was 2-for-3 with a double for Alpena (1-1), Victor Chiu-Cheng and Noah Marquardt each went 1-for-1 and Alex Cadarette and Logan Momrik both went 1-for-2.

Weide and Keegan Hahn split time on the mound for the Wildcats.

In the second game, Dow got up as much as 5-0, before Alpena rallied for a couple of late runs.

Matt Thompson was 2-for-3 with a double and Hahn had a hit for Alpena.

Chiu-Cheng, Mumrik and Kam Potter each pitched for Alpena.

“It was a good start for us,” Alpena coach Dave Myers said. “Lots to build on.”

Alpena will play at Saginaw Nouvel next Saturday.