Wildcats baseball cruise past Cadillac

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Caleb McEwen pitches during a game on Tuesday. The Alpena High School baseball team dominated Tuesday’s doubleheader, defeating Cadillac by scores of 12-0 and 9-2.

ALPENA — Entering the final doubleheader against a conference opponent, the Alpena High School baseball team (21-10, 7-3 BNC) took on the Cadillac Vikings, sweeping the series by 12-0 and 9-2 scores.

The Wildcats quickly won both contests due to pitching performances by Kaleb Donajkowski, Caleb McEwen, and Jake Zann, who all completely shut down the Vikings’ offensive capabilities.

Alpena also dominated offensively because of timely hitting and several opportunities to get runners in scoring position.

“Our pitching was great tonight, and we couldn’t have asked for a better performance from these guys,” Alpena coach Eric Mackenzie said. “Kaleb (Donajkowski) and Caleb (McEwen) were great as starters. Jake (Zann) shut the door in the final inning. We get fired up as a team when we pitch like we did tonight. The offense always seems to take a step up, which we love to see.”

Per usual, when Donajkowski starts game one, the Wildcats typically take care of business.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Jake Zann hits the ball during a baseball game on Tuesday in Alpena. The Wildcats baseball team dominated the doubleheader, defeating Cadillac 12-0 and 9-2. Zann saw personal success both defensively on the mound and offensively at the plate.

After a shutdown inning in the top of the first, Alpena went up to the plate, immediately scoring three runs.

Highlighted by a Donajkowski triple, scoring two runners, and a single from Hunter Cohoon that scored another, the Wildcats went up 3-0 early.

Heading into the second inning, the offense continued to stay hot.

Alpena loaded the bases to put all the pressure onto Cadillac’s pitchers, who were forced to face the top of the Wildcat’s lineup.

Gabe Glawe drew a walk, scoring one; Zann singled, scoring two more; McEwen walked, scoring another; and Jonny Rensberry hammered a sacrifice fly, scoring the fifth run.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Jonny Rensberry catches during Tuesday’s Alpena High School baseball game in Alpena. The Wildcats took two wins that night against Cadillac.

With a controlling 8-0 lead, Alpena found another insurance run in the bottom of the third when Zann hit an RBI single.

The bottom of the fourth exploded out of control, favoring Alpena, scoring three more to set up the mercy rule.

An RBI single hit by Tucker Bright, followed by an RBI double hit by Jase Kollen, led to the final run coming on a groundout to score the speedy Bright.

A final zero from Donajkowski earned him the win, giving up zero runs, striking out eight hitters, and only allowing two hits through five innings.

Game two began differently from the first, when Cadillac jumped on the scoreboard first, stealing a 1-0 lead.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Kaled Donajkowski pitches on Tuesday during a game of the doubleheader where Alpena played Cadillac. AHS won 12-0 and 9-2.

Although the tides seemed to turn, a four-spot in the bottom of the first game quickly dispelled any concern about losing the second game.

Back-to-back doubles between Glawe and Zann led off the game, where the following batter, Donajkowski, singled on a hard groundball to right field, scoring two.

Rensberry knocked his second sacrifice of the night, and Bright added another single to his day, scoring a fourth runner.

Up 4-1, McEwen found his groove on the mound and settled in for a pitching masterclass.

Both sides remained quiet until the bottom of the third when Alpena extended its lead by another two runs.

A third double of the game occurred, this time from Cohoon, which scored another runner.

McEwen also helped himself on the mound, increasing the lead on an RBI groundout.

Three more runs in the bottom of the fifth sent the game out of reach, taking a 9-1 lead, where the Vikings felt lost at the plate.

Zann came in to close the game in the seventh and, unfortunately, allowed one run, but after earning all three outs, Alpena walked away victorious, 9-2.

McEwen earned himself the win, only surrendering four hits and one run over six innings while also striking out 12 batters.

“Every game from here on out is preparation of districts,” Mackenzie said. “Once again, we hit timely and found a way to win both games. This is the team I like to see, and this is the offense and pitching combination we need going into those meaningful games.”


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