Leaving ’em stranded
By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
ROGERS CITY-Rogers City came out swinging in a doubleheader with Cheboygan on Wednesday and was able to get a lot of men on base but it wasn’t unable to translate its offensive success into a victory, losing the first game 7-0 and the second game 10-7.
“Our youth jumps up and gets us into trouble at least once a game and it’s those one or two innings that really knock you out of the game, no matter how well you play the rest of the game,” Rogers City head coach Wayne Karsten said.
Cheboygan’s Damon Proctor got his team on the board quickly in the top of the first inning of the first game by belting a two-run homer. He drove in lead off batter Stan Swiderek who had gotten on base on a single.
Alex Andrzejewski then struck out the next two batters to safely end the inning.
The Hurons had a chance to catch up in the first as Jacob Malocha hit a single while Colton Fessler advanced him to third on a double. Two outs later, Casey Szatkowski walked and Rogers City had the bases loaded.
Unfortunately for the Hurons, Andrzejewski struck out. Stranded runners was a consistent problem for Rogers City – it left 11 men stranded with seven in scoring position.
“We had opportunities but we didn’t capitalize on them. The hitting was there and the pitching was there but we just couldn’t get it done,” Karsten said.
Cheboygan picked up another run in the second to go up 3-0.
A fielding error served as the impetus for Cheboygan’s third inning rally. Andrzejewski gave up four hits walked one and hit a batter. Cheboygan was able to score four runners, sent nine men to the plate and left two men stranded.
To his credit, Andrzejewski pitched the rest of the game much more smoothly and gave up only one more hit while strking out two.
Though it trailed 7-0, Rogers City had men on base all but one inning with consistent hitting.
Fessler was particularly solid, picking up a double and a single. Malocha picked up a single and a walk while Szatkowski was able to draw two walks. Fessler made it into scoring position twice.
Unfortunately for the Hurons, they couldn’t any runners home and the game ended in the sixth.
Cheboygan once against took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the second game but Rogers City was able to fight back and picked up four runs in the second to take a 4-2 lead.
“We came out with better focus at bat and it really made the difference,” Karsten said.
Rogers City was then able to take a 7-2 lead in the third inning. Quintin Kelly was pitching well through the first three innings and was able to pick up three strikeouts in the game.
Key to Rogers City’s offensive attack in the second game was Clay Idalski who went 1-for-3 with a single that drove in two runs. Fessler went 2-for-3 and also drove in two with a single.
Unfortunately for Rogers City, Cheboygan had a five run rally in the fourth inning to tie the game. The Hurons were unable to answer and gave up three more runs to fall behind 10-7.
Kelly was replaced in the fifth. He was responsible for six of the Chief’s runs and gave up nine hits.
“Our team has some inexperienced players and they keep getting better every game. Unfortunately, that inexperience showed up tonight,” Karsten said.
Rogers City is now 4-8 overall and 0-4 in the Huron Conference. They travel to Mio today.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.