Blackhawks baseball experiences highs and lows in GNL play

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The Cheney High baseball team experienced some highs and lows in a busy week of Great Northern League action with a 4-0 win over Pullman, April 2, and losses to West Valley, 5-4, March 31 and East Valley, 2-1, April 4.

Unlike the March 28 doubleheader against Clarkston, Cheney could not get their bats going against West Valley. The Blackhawks kept a 2-1 lead until the seventh when the Eagles came back and scored four runs on infield errors. The Bantams limited the Blackhawks’ comeback attempt to two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

“The errors in the seventh were the only ones in the game for us,” head coach Mike Cagle said. “We played great until those three errors. We couldn’t close the game.”

Dominic Bonilla went 2 for 3 at bat. Riley and Kyle Jones both went 1 for 3 with one RBI. Connor Pratt went 1 for 2 with one RBI.

In the Pullman game, which was rescheduled from March 24, the Blackhawks quickly rebounded from their loss. Kyle Jones, who pitched a complete game and gave up only two hits, got the win. The Blackhawks continued to take advantage of their opponent’s errors, scoring two unearned runs in the first inning and one in the fourth. Riley Jones hit an RBI single to allow his brother to score in the top of the sixth.

In the game against the Knights, East Valley scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Cheney scored only one run in the sixth.

“We ran into a buzzsaw at East Valley,” Cagle said. “Their pitcher struck out 11 of our guys. You realize how good pitching makes it difficult for good hitters.”

One solid aspect of the Blackhawks seems to be their pitching. During the West Valley game, Cameron Wiseman (0-1) relieved Gleave and pitched five innings, the most he’s spent on the mound this season.

Kyle Jones (3-1) picked up the win in the Pullman game after he threw a two-hitter. Pratt (3-1) pitched a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts against East Valley.

“One of our strengths is that we have a lineup that’s deep, which helps us, especially in doubleheaders” Cagle said. “We have 4-5 guys who can pitch complete games.”

Cheney is now 3-2 in the GNL and 7-2 overall and is tied with Pullman (3-2, 3-2) for second place in the GNL standings. After their April 7 league game against the Bantams in Clarkston, Cheney hosts Pullman, April 14.

Cagle said the team is going to focus on improving their hitting, as well as their fielding.

“We’re trying to figure that part out,” Cagle said. “Hopefully spring break will help us a little bit.”

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About Al Stover

I graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in journalism. I currently work as a Staff Reporter for the Cheney Free Press. I have interviewed characters like cage fighters, drag queens and dungeon masters. I like Batman, coffee, MMA and beer.
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