The Cheney Summerhawks 17U baseball team wrapped up their independent season July 21 after splitting a doubleheader with Northwest Premier’s 16U baseball team, winning game one, 11-8 and losing game two 12-9. With the split doubleheader, the Summerhawks finished the season with an 11-13 record and hopefully many players gaining the experience they need for spring baseball.
In game one, Cheney and Premier were close throughout the game. After leading 2-1 in the first inning, the Summerhawks went on an offensive rally with Premier not far behind. At the plate, Cade VanWormer was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a triple. Trey Martin was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a double. Phillip Murray was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Andre Witt was 1 for 3 with an RBI double.
“Everyone was on base at some point,” head coach Austin Sharp said. “We also played pretty tight defense.”
Murray (4-3) got the win on the mound, striking out six batters and giving up five earned runs.
The Summerhawks carried some of their offensive momentum into game two, however the pitching gave up 13 hits and walked eight batters helped Premier take the lead in the fourth inning.
“Those fourth and seventh innings cost us some runs, but I was pretty proud of our offensive performance,” Sharp said.
At the plate, Logan Pratt was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Murray and Dylan Vercoe were both 1 for 2 with an RBI.
Pratt started on the mound with Witt relieving him in the top of the third and Riggs (2-5) closing.
In the beginning of the season, Cheney split doubleheaders with Mission Valley, out of Montana, Apple Valley and Priest River. They dropped games against the 17U Crew and Premier’s 16U team before sweeping Priest River in a June 25 doubleheader.
The Summerhawks also found some success in tournaments, going 2-3 in the Wood Bat Classic, July 2-5, and 2-2 in the Red Hawk Classic Tournament in Yakima, July 9-12. Prior to the July 21 doubleheader, Cheney defeated Cashmere, 12-11 in a game that went extra innings, July 14, then lost to Northwest Premier’s 17U team, 20-7, the next day.
Sharp noted the team’s improvement at the plate throughout the season. Martin, who played all 23 games had a .420 batting average, followed by Witt (.382). VanWormer, who split his time with the Summerhawks and the 17U crew, had a .500 batting average in the 15 games he played with Cheney.
“The boys learned a set approach and got better at the plate,” Sharp said. “Everyone improved a lot not only in hitting, but also in base running.”
In pitching, the team had a 6.0 earned run average. Leading the Summerhawks was Murray, who had a 3.36 ERA and struck out 26 batters.
“A lot of our guys got some experience on the mound,” Sharp said. “I put some of the pitchers in stressful spots and next year you’ll see the experience they got out of those situations.”
Overall, Sharp said the season was a successful one that helped prepare players for spring baseball.
“I’ve been talking with (head coaches) Mike Cagle and Kerry Kelly and all of these kids have a chance at playing varsity next year,” Sharp said.