The Cheney 17U Summerhawks baseball team split a tough doubleheader against the Apple Valley Blues last Saturday, losing game one 18-7 and winning the nightcap 8-7.
Cheney fought an uphill battle in game one as Apple Valley started with a 4-0 lead, scoring off three fielding errors. The Blues controlled the game from there, scoring 18 runs off 10 hits.
The Summerhawks went through a cycle of pitchers with Phillip Murray (0-1), Jack Peabody, Dylan Vercoe and Austin Johnson having turns on the mound.
“Our defense didn’t play real well,” head coach Austin Sharp said.
Cheney did manage to get some offense going. Murray was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Peabody was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI and Trey Martin was 3 for 4 with a double.
“Our bats eventually came out but in the sixth inning Apple Valley pulled away,” Sharp said. “It was a good learning experience for my guys.”
The Summerhawks’ difficulties continued in game two with the Blues scoring six runs in the first inning. After a rough start, pitcher Matt Riggs (2-1) “showed up and battled,” as Sharp put it, and only allowed one run and five hits to get the win on the mound. Cheney got their bats going and took the lead in the sixth inning.
Cade VanWormer, who didn’t play in the first game, went 3 for 3. Murray was 2 for 3 with an RBI double and an RBI single. Sharp noted Murray’s improvement at the plate.
“In the first three games he didn’t have a hit,” Sharp said. “He’s had at least two hits in the last three.”
Sharp said his team is “meshing together well” and will have more time to practice now that school is out. The team will focus on tightening their defense.
“I think this team can compete with anyone,” Sharp said. “I think the boys are starting to realize that. When they play their best, they can beat anyone.”
The Summerhawks are now 3-4 for the season. After their June 16 home game against Northwest Premier Baseball Club’s 16U, they host Spokane’s 17U Crew, June 23.