Wildcats baseball earns a pair of wins ahead of a major conference matchup

News Photos by Owen Kinzey Gabe Glawe (21) and Jake Zann (2) stand together during AHS’s baseball game on Saturday against Soo Canada. Glawe and Zann put in a lot of offensive help to assist in both wins.

ALPENA — The Alpena High School baseball team (14-7, 3-1 BNC) had recently suffered a rough stretch of games, uncharacteristically losing three in a row.

On Saturday, the Wildcats bounced back into form, destroying Soo Canada in both games of the doubleheader.

Alpena won the first match up 11-2, and the second game finished 15-0 after a mercy rule in just three innings.

These two wins set up a momentum-shifting change entering Tuesday’s conference play against the challenging Petoskey Northmen.

Although the Wildcats won big in game one, the Black Sox came out firing, ready to catch Alpena off-guard.

News Photo by Owen Kinzey Caleb McEwen pitches during Alpena’s baseball game against Soo Canada on Saturday. The Wildcats came out on top in both games of the doubleheader, taking 11-2 and 15-0 wins.

Kaleb Donajkowski, Alpena’s ace on the season, took the mound and started by throwing several wild pitches.

Two of these pitches cost the Wildcats two runs, but in the bottom of the first, Alpena responded right back.

The Soo started by hitting Gabe Glawe, giving up a single to Jake Zann and a double to Donajkowski, still unable to achieve an out.

After a balk, a wild pitch, and an RBI on Donajkowski’s double, Alpena gained a 3-2 lead.

The Wildcats added three more in the next inning, taking advantage of an error and terrorizing the Black Sox on the bases.

Glawe stole three bases during the inning, and another RBI from Donajkowski extended the lead to 6-2.

The offense continued to roll into the third inning, where Caleb McEwen reached home on a passed ball, and Jonny Rensberry was driven home by a sacrifice fly.

Connor Cameron also scored on another Zann single.

Now up 9-2, Alpena coasted to the finish line to secure a massive win.

The final two runs came in the bottom of the sixth due to back-to-back RBI singles coming from Tucker Bright and Nate Southard.

Ultimately, game one was finalized by a score of 11-2, where Donajkowski earned the win from three innings pitched with just one hit, but Jase Kollen’s efforts in relief were also impressive, with four innings and not a single hit allowed.

Parallel to the first match, the second game started off hot, and the Wildcats’ offense never slowed down.

An eight-run explosive first inning supplied Alpena with everything needed to win the game early.

Spotlighted by Zann’s RBI triple, Donajkowski’s RBI double, Hunter Cohoon’s RBI double, Bright’s three RBI triple, Brady Chapman’s RBI double, and a sacrifice fly from Glawe, these eight runs gave the Wildcats plenty of confidence at the plate.

The bottom of the second inning was similar as well, with another five runs coming.

Errors cost the Black Sox three runs, while Lucas Weir and Glawe contributed the other two.

Finally, two last runs came in the third, both of which were walks to Weir and Southard.

McEwen and Cameron combined for three innings of a no-hitter before the game was called by mercy rules. McEwen took the win and struck out three through two innings.

“We’ve taken on some tough teams with some really great pitchers, so for our offense to perform like this, it’s just amazing to see heading into two of our biggest games of the year,” Alpena coach Eric Mackenzie said. “We always focus on timely hitting, and although that’s been a struggle lately, we told our guys to just go out there and have fun, and it’s safe to say they did that today.”

Alpena takes on Petoskey at home on Tuesday.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today