Summer Hawks' A team faces crucial final games in playoff race
By JOHN McCALLUM
Cheney's Summer Hawks American Legion A team made the most of their only game last week, scoring nine runs in the fifth inning to rally for a 10-4 win over visiting Ferris Wednesday.
After falling behind 4-0 through the first three innings the Summer Hawks got on the board in the fourth courtesy of Oren Evans' sacrifice fly. But in the fifth the floodgates opened as Cheney's 1-8 hitters all hit and scored.
“You don't see that all too often,” Summer Hawks manager Aaron Rockey said.
Shane Hammel was 2 for 2 with an RBI and Cameron Marchand was 2 for 4, including a double, and an RBI to lead the Summer Hawks offensively. Evans was 1 for 2 with 2 RBI while Kyle Krieger scored twice as Cheney pounded out 11 hits against the Saxons.
Connor Pratt got the win in relief of Jacob Whiteley, giving up no runs and no hits while striking out five in three innings. Whiteley pitched four innings, giving up four runs, only one of which was earned, while allowing four hits and striking out two.
The win gives Cheney a 3-4 record overall, seventh in the 10-team Spokane American Legion A Southern Division. For Rockey the light schedule was fortuitous as his team was battling through some minor injuries and ailments and missing several players, all of whom are now back.
“It was nice getting that week because we've got some big games coming up,” Rockey said.
That may be somewhat of an understatement. The Summer Hawks trail division leading University, 11-1, by 5.5 games but could make up a lot of ground with nine games over seven days, beginning with Wednesday's (June 27) doubleheader at Rathdrum, fourth at 6-3.
It's a crucial stretch for the Summer Hawks as all nine games are against teams ahead of them in the standings, including University in a doubleheader Monday, July 2. Before that is a single game Thursday at East Valley (7-3, second), a home doubleheader Friday with Freeman (7-5, fifth), finishing up with the season-finale Tuesday at Gonzaga Prep (9-4, third).
“Hopefully we'll get on a roll and see what happens,” Rockey said.
John McCallum can be reached at email@example.com.