Wildcat baseball picks up two wins over Blue Devils

ALPENA – The Alpena baseball team came out strong on Tuesday when it cruised past the Gaylord Blue Devils 17-2 and 10-0 in five- and six-inning mercies.

“We felt pretty good with the wins. We started hitting the ball like we can and putting the pressure on the defense,” Alpena coach Phil Schultz said.

Alpena (11-3) started quickly by scoring five in the first inning. Tyler Pintar led off with a single after which Tim Atkinson hit a double. Both players were later scored.

Giulio Fantasia singled and advanced to second on a Brad Styma walk. Brady Marwede then got reached first on an error by Gaylord shortstop Jack Ryan.

Dylan Hoes knocked in two to give Alpena a 5-0 lead.

Gaylord picked up one hit in the first three innings against pitcher Chris Modzrynski, who picked up the win, allowing only one hit, walking one and striking out six.

Nick Skiba pitched an inning in relief, walked two and giving up two hits.

“Our pitching has been stellar so far this year. They’ve been doing what they need to do to keep control in every game,” Schultz said.

Alpena continued its scoring barrage in the second inning. Pintar walked, followed by a Nick Skiba singled. Atkinson was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Fantasia singled to drive in two.

Atkinson was then driven in to give Alpena the 8-0 lead after two.

The Wildcats scored only one in the third inning. Pintar led off the inning with a single. He was driven in by a sac fly from Atkinson to give Alpena a 9-0 lead.

Gaylord finally scored in the top of the fourth when Robbie Hansen singled and was driven in by a Jacob Freeman single to narrow Alpena’s lead to 9-1.

The fourth inning was when the real damage was done to the Blue Devils. Alpena scored eight runs in the inning and went through 12 batters. It picked up seven hits on its way to a 17-1 lead.

Skiba, Styma and Atkinson singled and scored. Hoes hit two singles and scored once. Dylan Glennie walked and singled, scoring twice. Marwede singled and walked, scoring once. Fantasia got on base off an error at second and scored.

Alpena started out relatively slow in the second game, scoring only one run in the first four innings when Fantasia scored on a base hit from Hoes.

Cody Tucker pitched four innings for the win. He gave up one single, one walk, hit one batter and struck out nine.

The Wildcats extended its lead in the fifth when Hoes pulled a walk and scored when Evan Hamp got to second on an error. Pintar knocked in Hamp with a triple and scored on a Skiba single. Skiba was then driven in to give Alpena the 4-0 lead.

Gaylord had time to rally in the sixth, but continued to struggle against Tucker. The game was finally put out of reach when Alpena scored six in the sixth.

Atkinson started it with a single. Fantasia drove him to third with a double. Gaylord intentionally walked Styma, who was followed by a Marwede walk to drive in Atkinson.

Hoes singled to knock in Marwede and Styma. Fantasia was then driven in by a Tucker single. Pintar walked while a shortstop error helped Skiba load the bases. Atkinson then walked to drive in the winning 10th run of the game.

This was Alpena’s fourth win in a row, after taking two in the MacKenzie Invite.

“We’re getting some success based on the fact that we got to play on a regular basis. We didn’t have a gap in between when we played games,” Schultz said. “It was a nicer day to play and everybody was excited to get out there and play.”

Alpena travels to Sault Saint Marie on Thursday.