SummerHawks 'implode' in Legion loss to West Kootenay
Cheney’s trip to postseason is a short one following 10-0 loss in opener
So many things were going right for the Cheney AA SummerHawks American Legion baseball team that was headed to the playoffs.
They were on an impressive run with nine wins in their last 11 games. Cheney had recently split with Shadle Park, the division champions.
Then all of a sudden what was going right quickly went wrong and the SummerHawks’ season ended in a 10-0 loss last Wednesday to the West Kootenay Diamondbacks from Trail, British Columbia in a loser-out game.
“We kind of imploded,” head coach Mike Cagle said. “They had six unearned runs.”
The implosion came in the bottom of the fourth inning in the game played at Al K. Jackson Field in Spokane where Kootenay broke open a tight 2-0 game scoring six runs. “We gave them six to seven outs in that inning that we should have had,” Cagle said.
Cheney started the game as if they’d remain on the hot streak that got them into the playoffs in the first place getting runners on first and third with one out. “Josh Arthur just gets ahold of a ball that the second baseman, who I thought was playing out of position, hits it right to him, double us up,” Cagle said.
The SummerHawks were limited to just four hits on the evening with Arthur, Kyle Barsness, Bubba Smith and Alex Berman each getting singles.
Cagle said his SummerHawks had a couple of opportunities to stop the bleeding. “Literally, just flipping the throw and it’s off the glove with the bases loaded and a couple of balls we just didn’t quite get to,” proved to be big reasons for the lopsided loss. Cheney had five errors in the game.
In the third, trailing 2-0, the SummerHawks had the bases loaded with no outs and hit into a 4-2-1 double play. “We didn’t produce when we needed to,” Cagle said. “We had a couple of opportunities.”
Connor Pratt threw a solid game, Cagle said, allowing just five hits. “He threw good enough to win, it’s hard to make up for some of the stuff that happened.”
Cheney finished the season 11-7 in the National League, five games back of regular season champ Shadle Park (16-2). Both of the champ’s losses were to Cheney. The SummerHawks were 14-8 overall in reported games.
Cagle, who ran the team following the Woodbat Classic will take over as Cheney’s head baseball coach next spring, assuming the reins from Randy Elam.
Paul Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.