Vikings take two from CassPublished 4:01pm Sunday, May 20, 2012
The Niles baseball team got off to a good start and finished even better Saturday in its doubleheader sweep of Cassopolis. The Vikings won the opener, 7-4, and rolled to a 17-2 win in game two.
“We came out in the second game and played hard from the get-go,” said Niles baseball coach Mike Vota. “Something we’ve struggled with all year is coming out in the back end of a doubleheader and having the same intensity (as in game one) or more increased intensity. Today, I felt like that happened for the first time probably this year.”
In game two, Niles banged out 15 hits and scored in every inning. Connor Glick collected three singles, walked and drove in three runs to lead the Vikings offensively in the second game. Matthew McLaughlin, Tate Rudlaff and Dallas Munger each added two hits.
Niles scored seven runs in the second inning with McLaughlin’s two-run double highlighting the inning. Glick, Munger and Tyler Parish each had an RBI single.
The Vikings added five runs in the third with Chris Mangus and Glick each collecting an RBI single.
A four-run fourth gave Niles a 17-2 lead and a mercy-rule win. Jake Brentlinger and Alec Landon got the inning started with RBI singles and Nicholas Zimmerman ended the game with his two-run single.
“I’m happy that we’re moving forward (on offense),” Vota said. “We’ve struggled with the bats for so long this year. Hopefully, we’re coming out of that. Now, we needed to continue it for a couple more weeks. That’s the name of game, to get hot at the right time. This is the time that you have to get hot if you want to have a chance to win in the state tournament.”
Campbell tossed a one-hitter, struck out five, walked two and hit two batters in picking up the win. Cassopolis’ Lance Sheteron delivered a two-run single off Campbell in the third inning.
In the opener, the Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with Nate Blad singling in a run and later stealing home.
Niles pulled within 2-1 on Chris Mangus’ solo homer in the first and tied the game on McLaughlin’s sacrifice fly in the second. It was the first of four hits for Mangus.
Cassopolis took its last lead of the game at 3-2 after getting an RBI single from Dwayne Morgan in the third.
Mitchell Dehn’s two-run double in the third, which was lost in the sun, gave the Vikings a 4-3 lead.
The Vikings extended their lead to 6-3 in the fourth after getting RBI singles from McLaughlin and Glick. Niles took a 7-4 lead after getting an RBI single from Mangus in the sixth.
Dehn struck out 14, gave up five hits and walked two in picking up the win.
“Good stuff today,” Vota said about his pitching in the doubleheader. “It was good to see them throw multiple pitches for strikes and put hitters away. It was their last real start until district time because we’ll divide up some games and give some other guys some work the rest of the regular season.”
Morgan had two hits in game one for Cassopolis.
“We had some strikeouts, but I thought we swung the bats well against their No. 1 pitcher (Dehn),” said Cassopolis coach Matt Brawley.
Cassopolis had seven errors which led to nine unearned runs in the doubleheader for Niles. Cassopolis also lost several fly balls in the sun.
“We made some errors, but that’s going to happen,” Brawley said. “We’ll correct those mistakes. We were in position to win the first game and didn’t come up with the plays that we needed to make. In the second game, it is what it is. They put it on us and we didn’t make plays. When you put those two things together that’s the score you’re going to get.”
Cass 201 010 0 – 4 5 4
Niles 112 201 x – 7 9 0
Kevin Hatcher (L, 6-3), Taylor Baker (4) and Nate Blad; Mitchell Dehn (W) and Tyler Parish
2B: Dehn 2 (N), Chris Mangus (N)
3B: Taylor Campbell (N)
HR: Mangus (N)
Cass 002 0 – 2 1 3
Niles 175 4 – 17 15 1
Dwayne Morgan (L), J.J. Smith (2), Lance Sheteron (3) and Tyler Butrick; Taylor Campbell (W) and Chris Mangus
2B: Matthew McLaughlin (N), Tate Rudlaff 2 (N)
Cassopolis 12-18, Niles 15-13