Chalk up two more
LINCOLN-The Alcona baseball team found the perfect strategy to take two wins from Roscommon on Friday: score early and often.
The strategy paid off as the Tigers took 7-4 and 12-3 wins from the Bucks, scoring 13 of their 19 runs in the first two innings.
Alcona has won eight of its last 10 games and has had a lot of success in the past week, winning its home invitational last Saturday and its first-ever Huron Shores Conference title on Thursday.
“As a team we’ve been hitting quite well,” Alcona coach Terry Franklin said. “I’m pretty pleased, all the hard work we put in in the offseason is paying off.”
After Roscommon scored twice in the top of the second inning of the opener, Alcona (20-7) got hot at the plate plate. The Tigers tallied five runs and sent up all nine batters.
After Alcona’s first three batters reached on singles, Austin Richardson drew a bases-loaded walk to put the Tigers on the board. Chad Cole followed with a two-run double and two batters later, Cody Franklin ripped a two-run single to the outfield.
Carson Jamieson singled in Nathan Fettes in the next inning to put Alcona up 5-2.
Alcona pitcher Trenton LaVergne ran into some trouble in the fourth inning, allowing a pair of bases-loaded walks. With the bases still loaded, LaVergne escaped the jam with a strikeout and a force out at third base.
After the first three Roscommon batters reached in the next inning, LaVergne gave way to Jamieson who struck out Danny Peer for the first out. Alcona escaped a jam again when Kyle Kinnin grounded out and the Tigers were able to turn a 6-4-3 double play.
Jamieson added Alcona’s final run in the fifth inning when he scored on an error.
The Bucks brought the tying run to the plate in the final inning, but left two men stranded after Jamie Hammond flied out to right field to end the game. Kinnin was Roscommon’s first batter in the inning and reached on a single, but was thrown out for the first out as he tried to take second base after an errant throw.
LaVergne earned the win for the Tigers in the opener. He threw four innings before being relieved by Jamieson. LaVergne surrendered four runs on five hits with four strikeouts and six walks. Jamieson allowed two hits, struck out two and walked one to earn the save.
Cody Franklin led Alcona with three hits and two RBI. Jamieson also had three hits and one RBI. Fettes had two hits and Cole had an RBI double.
Mike Faulker led the Bucks with three hits and also took the loss, giving up seven runs on 11 hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Alcona got a jump on the Bucks early again in the nightcap, scoring four runs in each of the first two innings. After the Bucks cut into Alcona’s lead with three runs in the third inning, all of which came largely because of errors, Alcona put another four runs on the board in the fifth inning.
Joe Hudgins earned the win for Alcona, allowing two hits, walking one and striking out seven. He led Alcona at the plate with three hits.
Steiner and Fettes each added two hits.
Despite Alcona’s high offensive output, Franklin still saw some room for improvement. The Tigers were picked off several times in the opener and Franklin pointed to this as something his team must fix as the postseason draws closer.
“I thought we played pretty well,” Franklin said. “We made some mistakes, but you’ve got to make mistakes so you can learn.”
Alcona plays at Au Gres on Tuesday.
James Andersen can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.