Blackhawks' baseball snaps losing streak in doubleheader win against Eagles
Cheney's Julia Boyd slides in with a run in the Lady Hawks 14-5 win over Pullman. See story on page 3.
The Cheney High School baseball team finally caught a break this past week as they swept West Valley in a doubleheader at home, April 19.
Prior to playing the Eagles, the Blackhawks lost a road game to Pullman, 14-8, Tuesday, April 15.
After the Blackhawks led 1-0 inthe second winning, the Greyhounds scored eight runs in the top of the third. Cheney attempted to regain the lead, scoring runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but Pullman's one-run fourth and five-run fifth - along with some errors on Cheney's part - gave the Greyhounds the victory.
"Pullman was the culmination of two weeks of frustration," head coach Mike Cagle said. "I think some of the guys thought we were left for dead at that point. I always tell them that 'you can't give up.'"
Game one of the doubleheader against West Valley featured solid defense from both teams that left zeroes on the scoreboard for most of the game.
The pitching on both teams contributed to most of the scoreless innings. On the mound, Cheney pitcher Sawyer Sims had 12 strikeouts with one walk and allowed two hits.
One player who also shined on defense was shortstop Riley Jones. In the top of the seventh, Jones threw the ball from the edge of the left outfield grass to get a runner out at first. In the next play, he threw a ball to Tanner "Bubba" Smith, who got a runner out at second base.
In the eighth inning, Josh Arthur hit a ball that was ruled a ground rule double. Ty Graham landed a base hit that brought in Smith for the winning run, giving the Blackhawks the 1-0 win - their first in six games.
"I was proud of our kids," Cagle said. "We kept hanging in there."
Game two started out the same as Pullman, as Cheney picked up one run in the first inning. After West Valley scored three runs in the second and one in the fourth, the Blackhawks slowly made their comeback in the fourth after Josh Arthur hit a two-run homer. In the seventh Chance Gleave hit a ball to left field to load the bases. After Kyle Barsness scored the tying run, Smith hit the ball past the pitcher to allow Andrew Graham to score the winning run, ending the game 5-4.
"We really needed these wins," Cagle said. "It was pretty exciting."
With their two victories at home, Cheney (5-6 Great Northern League, 5-6 overall) is still at the No. 5 spot in the GNL, right below West Valley (5-5, 5-6). After they head to Clarkston to play the No. 3 ranked Bantams (6-5, 7-5), April 22, the Blackhawks will host Deer Park (2-7, 4-7) in a doubleheader at home, April 25. The Stags will come into Cheney after a game against No. 2 ranked Colville (7-4, 7-4).
"Deer Park is well coached," Cagle said. "They only have two league wins, but I think that is a terrible indicator of how good they are."
Al Stover can be reached at email@example.com.