Wildcats Successful on the diamond

By JONNY ZAWACKI

News Sports Writer

So far in the early stages of the 2016 season, the Alpena baseball team has exceeded expectations and continued their winning ways, sweeping a doubleheader against Cheboygan on Thursday.

“We are off to a very good start. I did not think we were going to be this solid this early in the season, but this team continues to exceed my expectations. Getting two more big wins tonight was great because Cheboygan is a pretty good team,” Alpena coach Phil Schultz said.

The Wildcats won game one of the doubleheader by a final score of 3-2. Joe Ayala started on the mound for Alpena and was effective, tossing six innings allowing just three hits and one earned run.

Cheboygan wasted to time scoring the games first run on back-to-back two outs to take a one run lead in the top of the first inning.

Alpena took advantage of a lot of missed opportunities for the Chiefs as Cheboygan left several runners on base in the early stages of the game and committed six errors in the game.

The Wildcats tied the game in the bottom of the third when Breadan Worth scored all the way from second base on a throwing error.

Alpena took the lead an inning later when Cam Cosbitt hit a double to lead off the fourth and scored on a fielders choice.

Ayala took the mound in the seventh but walked the leadoff batter and was relieved by Cam DeCaire. The first batter DeCaire face hit a ball down the third base line that eventually hit the bag and deflected into the outfield grass allowing the tying run to advance to third with no outs.

Zach Stempky singled in the tying run, but the Wildcats were able to get out of the jam on a controversial double-play call.

Rhett Limback led off the home half of the seventh with a walk and represented the winning run. Limback eventually moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Ben Matteson and later advanced to third on a past ball. Josh Lucas came up with a two out base hit up the middle to help the Wildcats walk off with the game one win.

Lars MacArthur started the nightcap and turned in a solid effort, pitching 5 1/3 innings while fanning seven Chiefs and earned the victory as the Wildcats won by a score of 2-0.

Alpena scored the only two runs of the game in the second inning as DeCaire drove in the games first run and Brendan Dacey came across to score the second run on a past ball. Cheboygan had an opportunity late with runners on first and second with one out, but Schultz called on Dylan Tucker relieve MacArthur. Tucker faced one batter and forced him to ground into a game ending double play to record the save.

Matteson, Limback, DeCaire, Lucas and Nick Skiba recorded the Wildcats five hits in game two.

With the win, Alpena improves to 7-1 overall and will have some much needed time off before they play host to Big North Conference rival Traverse City Central on Tuesday.

“Traverse City Central is always a good team, but we have five days off and we should be well rested and I think our guys are going to be able to rise to the challenge,” Schultz said.

Wildcats successful on the diamond

By JONNY ZAWACKI

News Sports Writer

The Alpena softball team had no problem putting the ball in play and used a total team effort to sweep a doubleheader against Cheboygan on Tuesday night.

“The main thing today was being able to get everyone some playing time. We had a tough schedule through the first few games of the season and we didn’t really get the chance to play everyone and the kids knew that going in, but tonight was a good opportunity for us to get everyone a good amount of playing time,” Alpena softball coach Paul Marwede said.

The Wildcats wasted to time putting runs on the board, scoring three in the first to jump out to an early lead as Mary Schimmel, Jessica Marwede and Mykayla Price all came around to score.

Alpena would stop there and continued to build on their lead and eventually took game one by a finals score of 11-1.

Six different Wildcats came across to score in the game led by Marwede who scored three runs in the game and went 2-2 at plate. Schimmel, Jasmyn Schultz and Elise Leeck each collected two hits in the game.

Game two started out the same as Alpena was able to carry their offensive momentum that they established in game one into the early innings of the second game.

The Wildcats scored four runs in the first and continued to hit and score in the second inning as everyone in the starting lineup came around to score once as Alpena put nine runs on the board in the second.

Cheboygan did everything they could to battled their way back into the ball game, but the deficit was too much and Alpena was able to complete the sweep, winning game two by a final score of 15-9.

The Wildcats improve to 5-3 with the win and will be tested this weekend when they travel to Swartz Creek to compete with Lakeland, Dewitt and the host Swartz Creek.

“We are going to see some good competition this weekend starting off with Lakeland who is traditionally a powerhouse and We’ll play Swartz Creek again and they beat us last year so we’re hoping to get a little revenge and have a successful weekend,” Marwede said.