Errors doom Tigers against red-hot Panthers

LINCOLN – The Alcona baseball team ran into a red hot non-conference opponent in Standish on Tuesday. The Tigers hurt themselves much of the night defensively and Standish took advantage of those mistakes to bring its winning streak to 18 games with a doubleheader sweep, 13-0 (five innings) and 10-4.

“Standish is very good. It was kind of tough for us because we have a few conference games this week and didn’t have a lot of pitching, but our pitchers tonight did a good job of throwing strikes, but we just made a lot of errors,” Alcona coach Terry Franklin said.

The Panthers capitalized on early mistakes and put together a huge first inning in the opener as they plated nine runners in the opening frame. Alcona had chances to limit the damage, but committed seven errors in the inning and lost game one by a final score of 13-0 in five innings.

The Tigers were limited to just two baserunners in the game and got only on hit which was a single that came off the bat of Matt Krisan in the bottom of the third inning and Erik Davey drew a walk in the final inning. Offensively the Tigers only struck out once and put a lot of balls in play that were hit right at the Standish defenders who were sharp most of the night.

“Playing good competition only makes you better and we have some things to work on as far as defense and baserunning, but all in all it just makes you better playing that level of competition,” Franklin said.

Alcona put together a better performance in the nightcap, but fell by a score of 10-4. Again, the Panthers jumped out to an early lead as the first four batters of the inning reached base safely and came around to score.

Standish added three more runs in the second and two more in the third to open up a nine run lead. The Tigers scored their first run of the night in the home half of the third when Nate Swinson hit a one-out single and came around to score on a wild pitch.

Alcona added two more runs in the fifth when Brock Franklin hit an RBI single to left field to score Swinson and a batter later, Alex Stephenson hit into a fielder’s choice that drove in Tim Hutchinson.

The Tigers held Standish scoreless in the final two innings and scored another run in the bottom of the sixth, but the deficit was just too much for Alcona to overcome.

“I just told the kids after the first game to go out and relax. I thought we played much better in the second game and if we play that way good things will happen,” Franklin said.

Swinson led the Tigers at the plate in game two going 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Hutchinson walked twice and scored a run and Franklin went 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Jaret Koin had a huge night for Standish, collecting five hits, including a triple, double, three runs scored and five RBI.

Alcona is currently 12-10-1 overall and will be back in action on Thursday when it travels to Fairview to continue its quest for a North Star League title as the Tigers sit at 10-3 in the conference.

Jonny Zawacki can be reached via email at jzawacki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690.