Hawks split with E.V., fall to W.V.
Pitcher Sawyer Sims throws a ball as an East Valley runner inches away from first base during the sixth inning in game one of Cheney's doubleheader against East Valley.
The Cheney Blackhawks baseball team split with East Valley in an April 2 double header and then followed it with a loss to West Valley the next day.
The first game between the Blackhawks and the Knights was close offensively. Cheney scored a run in the first inning and East Valley would take the lead after scoring runs in the fourth and fifth. After back-to-back RBIs from Sawyer Sims and Tyler Graham in the fifth, The Blackhawks took the lead, 3-2. Tanner "Bubba" Smith also had an RBI double in the sixth, making the score 4-2.
On defense, Sims only allowed three hits while the infield kept the Knights from scoring.
"That game was kind of the Sawyer Sims show," head coach Mike Cagle said.
In the seventh, the Knights had tying and lead runners on bases. Just as East Valley would make a comeback - with runners on first and third, Conner Pratt caught a fly ball in right field to end the game 4-2.
The Knights quickly rebounded in the second game to win 9-3. East Valley scored one run in the first. Both teams' defense kept it a close game until the Knights made three more runs in the third. Cheney would get on the board after Arthur scored a 2RBI double, followed by a run scored by Sims. East Valley would answer back with two more runs in the fourth.
Ty Graham relieved Pratt on the mound n the top of the fifth and got two strikeouts. East Valley would finish the game with a two-run sixth and a one-run seventh.
Cagle said the team had opportunities to win the game but was unable to score in the later innings.
"We also need them to force them to make plays on the infield," Cagle said. "A lot of outs came from strikeouts and fly balls. We didn't play that well, but it was good to get the split."
The next day, Cheney lost a close league game to West Valley, 5-4.
Cheney's Conner Pratt awaits a pitch against East Valley in game one of the Blackhawks' doubleheader against the Knights.
The Blackhawks came out of the gate with three runs in the first. The Eagles would take the lead after a one-run first and a four-run third.
On the mound, Chance Gleave went four innings, never gave up a hit and issued just one walk.
Cagle said the team had a lot more energy coming into the West Valley game.
"We got within one run, but we didn't execute our short-run game," Cagle said.
Cheney, with a league record of 3-3, 3-3 sits at fifth in the Great Northern League standings while West Valley at 3-1, 3-2 takes the second spot. The Blackhawks will have a challenge the next time they take the field as they take on Colville, 3-1, 4-2, who is not only ranked first in the league, but also is riding a three-game winning streak.
"Any game is going to be a dogfight," Cagle said. "The league is so evenly matched.
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.