SummerHawks have busy, productive week
Cheney wins four of five games with both big bats, solid pitching
It was a good way to spend Father’s Day for Cheney’s AA American Legion baseball team.
Not only was part of it spent at the ballpark at Al K. Jackson Field, but the SummerHawks ended with an 8-1 win over Shadle Park in a week where they won four of five games.
Tanner “Bubba” Smith showed no hint of rust after not taken to the mound in a month and a half and pitched a four-hitter. “He was brilliant on the mound, six strikeouts and no walks,” his coach, Randy Elam, wrote in an email. “It was so nice to see him back out there pitching.”
Smith had ample support, however, as Cheney banged out 13 hits, scoring eight runs in the first three innings. Alex Berman led the way at the plate going 4 for 4, with an RBI. Connor Pratt had four hits, with three RBIs, Josh Arthur had two hits, including a double. Ty Graham, Kyle Krieger and Smith rounded out the hits with 1 each.
Sunday’s victory capped off both a busy and successful weekend for Cheney who swept North Central 11-3 and 4-1 in a home doubleheader Saturday.
Krieger started that game and pitched into the fourth and was relieved by Graham who went the rest of the way and pitched shutout ball to close it.
In the first game, Smith, Pratt and Berman led the way at the plate with two hits each. Graham and Arthur each singled and had RBIs, Krieger doubled with an RBI, Anthony Hartman singled with an RBI and Shane Hammel had got an RBI with a bases loaded walk.
“Pratt pitched a beauty in the second game, allowing just the one run, one walk, five hits and struck out 14…wow,” Elam said.
In the second game Arthur led the way at the plate by going 3 for 3 with three doubles, a pair of RBIs and scored a run. Krieger had Cheney’s fourth hit, also a double.
The great week did have a large bump in the road, a 15-6 loss to the Northeast 49ers. “It was a one run game into the sixth and the wheels came flying off for us,” Elam said. A combination of walks and errors produced, “An ugly loss,” he said.
The week began with a 4-0 win at Central Valley. “Another gem of a performance on the mound, this time by Kyle Krieger,” Elam said of his complete game shutout, where Krieger scattered just three hits, one walk while striking out five.
At 6-5 overall, Elam seems happy with the progress so far. Especially considering the SummerHawks are thin on numbers and sharing a few players with Cheney’s A Legion team.
“We have guys who can pitch and play multiple positions,” Elam said. “Our pitching is starting to come around.” The bottom line he said is they are starting to throw strikes consistently, pitching to contact and that is making a huge difference.
The hitters are doing their part, too. “We can certainly swing it a little,” Elam said. “ It’s something that we've worked hard at since the beginning of the high school season.”
Cheney is starting to put the ball in play with authority, along with some power, Elam explained. The SummerHawks are hitting doubles more often, he said. Pratt has two home runs so far.
The team took this past week off and resumes play Monday, June 24 hosting a pair of games against Deer Park at 3 and 5 p.m., followed by a home game with North Central June 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.