Summerhawks go 2-0 vs. Priest River

SPORTS - Witt Slides into second - 07022015

The Cheney Summerhawks 17U baseball team is coming off a busy week, losing to the Spokane Crew 17U, 9-1 on July 23, and then sweeping a doubleheader with Priest River, 12-2, 13-0, June 25. They were scheduled to play Kellogg, July 26, however the game was canceled due to Kellogg not having enough players.

In the game against the Spokane Crew, Cheney’s offense was light with the Summerhawks only having five hits. Dylan Arthur was 2 for 3 while Logan Pratt was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Andrew Witt and Austin Johnson also had hits. Matt Riggs (2-2) pitched the entire game.

“The Crew is a pretty good team, they have a few Cheney High School varsity guys on there,” head coach Austin Sharp said, referring to Chance Gleave, Riley Jones and Cade VanWormer. VanWormer splits his time between the Crew and the Summerhawks.

Cheney’s offense improved in game one against Priest River, after they scored six runs in the first inning and seven in the third, which invoked the mercy rule after the fifth inning.

VanWormer was 2 for 3 with a single, a double and 2 RBIs. Witt was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Phillip Murray was 2 for 3 with a triple and two RBIs and Dylan Arthur was 1 for 3 with a two-RBI double.

“Everybody contributed in some way,” Sharp said. “The boys put together the most complete game to help us get back on track.”

Murray (2-1) pitched all five innings, striking out eight batters and walking two.

The Summerhawks carried their momentum into game two, starting off with a 4-0 lead after the first two innings, which included VanWormer’s two-RBI triple in the second. He was 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

Priest River scored its only two runs in the third inning. Cheney eventually ended the game in the sixth with the 10-run rule.

Besides VanWormer, Witt was 3 for 4 with an RBI and three runs. Riggs was 2 for 4 with two-RBI doubles and two runs. Sharp also noted Dylan Vercoe, who was 2 for 2 with an RBI and one run. He said Vercoe will usually bunt or hit a sacrifice fly to help runners advance.

“Dylan doesn’t have a high batting average, but at the No. 2 spot in the batting order, he does little things to help get our runners in scoring position and allows our third, fourth and fifth hitters to bring them in,” Sharp said.

Pratt (1-1) pitched all six innings to get his first win on the mound. He struck out eight batters, walked one and gave up only two earned runs.

“We continued to play great defense, which will help us in the Wood Bat tournament,” Sharp said.

Cheney, currently 5-6, starts the first day of the Wood Bat Classic Tournament against Sunnyside at 8 a.m., today (July 2) and then Regina Athletics at 6 p.m. They’ll play the next day (July 3), against Lewis and Clark No.1 at 8 a.m., then Moses Lake at 6 p.m. The Summerhawks will also play a game on July 4.

Sharp said the team has been focusing on tightening their defense and working on their “small ball” strategy.

“I think we’ll be ready,” Sharp said. “The team has their confidence back and everyone is coming back from football and basketball camps. We have the ability to beat any team in this tournament.”

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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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