Their time to shine

Something about the MacKenzie Invitational seems to bring out the best in the Alpena High baseball team.

A day after a pair of losses to Petoskey, brought on by struggles at the plate, the Wildcats jumped all over Algonac on Friday en route to a 10-0 win in six innings on the first day of their annual home tournament.

Caleb Myers threw a one-hit shutout and struck out 10 and the Wildcats collected 11 hits on the day. Only one of the Wildcats’ hits went for extra bases, but it was a welcome turnaround after they managed just a few hits against the Northmen.

We did a little bit better. We had a little bit of a slow start and didn’t sting the ball really well, but we started to come to life a little bit with the bats,” Alpena coach Phil Schultz said. “Yesterday, we just didn’t hit. We didn’t strike out a lot, but we hit a lot of lazy fly balls.”

Tyler Pintar went 3-for-4 with an RBI, Brady Marwede had two hits and an RBI and Ryan Cadarette had a two-run single in the sixth inning.

A week after throwing a no-hitter in his second varsity start, Myers was perhaps even better this time around. He threw 3 2/3 perfect innings before surrendering a single to Mike Baranowski. At one point Myers struck out eight out of nine batters he faced including six in a row.

“The big thing is he’s throwing strikes. He’s hitting his spots and getting in front of the hitters,” Schultz said. “In high school ball if you can get ahead of the hitters and let your defense do the work, you’re in good shape.”

Algonac’s only other base runner came on a walk in the sixth inning.

The Wildcats opened the scoring in the second inning with two runs as Marwede and Pintar each had RBI singles.

In the third inning, Marwede reached first base on an error that allowed two runs to score. He was later driven in by Cody Tucker to give Alpena a 5-0 lead.

Pintar scored on a passed ball in the fourth inning and Dylan Glennie added an RBI double to score Nick Skiba and up Alpena’s lead to 7-0.

Alpena finished the game strong as well, tallying three runs in the top of sixth inning to gain enough for an eventual mercy-rule win.

Evan Hamp had an RBI single and Cadarette had perhaps the biggest hit of the day when he hit an 0-2 pitch into left field to score Hamp and Marwede.

“This is our premier event so we want to do well in front of our home crowd. So far we’re doing a pretty good job,” Schultz said.

Alpena will play Sault Ste. Marie today at 10 a.m. and will play Grosse Pointe North in its second game as the Wildcats aim for their second straight MacKenzie Invitational title.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.