Buss swinging productive bat for Reed City baseball squad

COMSTOCK PARK — Michael Buss has been hitting the ball very well lately and hopes to keep it going for the Reed City Coyotes in upcoming baseball games.

Buss had one of his best games of the season last Wednesday with four singles against Cadillac.

The Vikings, however, fired out to an early lead and held back a Reed City surge to post a 9-6 non-league victory in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday night at Fifth-Third Park.

In the second game, Reed City lost 2-1.

Cadillac scored three runs in the first inning and four in the second off of Reed City starter Alex Repo. The Coyotes were able to come back with some timely hitting from the likes of Buss, who had four singles, and the pitching of Dylan Kichak, who pitched five strong innings starting in the third.

“We started off slow, obviously, but we fought back,” Buss said. “We had a pretty good effort at the end.”

Isaac Baker delivered a two-run triple in the first inning and scored on a wild pitch for a Viking 3-0 lead. Reed City got a run back the bottom of the first when Repo walked and eventually scored on Kichak’s groundout.

In the second inning, Ty Little delivered an RBI groundout. Nick Paquet followed with a sacrifice fly while Aaron Stefani and Baker scored on wild pitches for a 7-1 lead.

Consecutive singles with one out in the third inning by Evan Stieg, Kichak and Justin produced Reed City’s second run. The Coyotes got three runs in the fourth on RBI singles from Trevor Mund, Repo and Stieg. Buss added an RBI single in the fifth to make it a 7-6 game.

Cadillac added RBI singles in the sixth from Stefani and Baker.

“It was good to see the kids hit the ball around a little bit,” said Reed City coach Scott Shankel. “The last few games, they’ve been making contact. We’re getting there.”

Kichak only allowed four hits in his five innings of work.

“I felt good,” he said adding that his fastball and 0-2 curveball were strengths and that it was his best outing “by far.”

He hasn’t seen too much action but said this season “has been fun,” I enjoy it.”

“He ate up some great innings and threw a great game there,” Shankel said, adding that Cadillac “hit the ball well and played solid defense. I think we’re both even teams.”

“We had a nice start, especially at the plate, and did a nice job of battling though some lulls to hang on and get a game,” said Cadillac coach Marty Cartwright.

Stefani wound up as the winning pitcher, allowing 10 hits and two walks.

“I thought he did a good job of battling throughout the game,” Cartwright said. “He had some hard-luck hits. But he did a nice job all game of battling through with runners on .”

Buss had his best-hitting game of the season.

“I hit his curveball pretty good,” Buss said. “We started out slow but we fought back. It was a pretty good effort at the end.”

Buss said he started off the season slow but has been working harder to become an effective batter. The poor weather which kept baseball teams inside for awhile had a definite impact, he indicated.

“We playing above .500, we’re playing solid,” he said.

In the second game, Justin Nowland had a complete-game two-hitter for the Vikings and went all seven innings, striking out six and walking one. Brandon Parcell and Paquet had RBI singles for Cadillac.

Josh Justin went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and fanning three. Repo and Glenn Ryder had Reed City’s only hits.

“We just couldn’t produce any runs, it was frustrating,” Shankel said. “Josh pitched a great game for us. We just couldn’t get him any runs. We could have easily won both games. He kept them off balanced. They made the plays in the field.”

“I thought we played pretty well,” Kichak said. “A couple of innings killed us. We couldn’t get an out.”

Kichak usually plays third base defensively. He’s been focusing on being a contact hitter. “We want to get some momentum for districts,” he said. “We have to avoid a mental letdown and stay focused.”

On Saturday, Reed City was 0-3 at the Cadillac Invitational.

The Coyotes fell 11-1 to Ogemaw Heights in six innings, fell 8-0 to Haslett and lost 9-8 to Ogemaw Heights in a rematch.

“It was just one of those days, nothing seemed to go good for us,” Shankel said. “We didn’t hit the ball until the third game. Defensively, we played all right. We didn’t get the key hits when we needed them.”

Reed City came out of the tourney at 11-13. The Coyotes play Manton at Evart on May 31 in predistrict action.

Reed City swept Lakeview 8-1 and 13-3 in Central State Activities Association action on May 17. Evan Stieg pitched a complete-game six-hitter in the first game. Buss had two hits and three RBIs. Repo, Josh Justin and Glen Ryder had two hits apiece. Codie Strach was the winning pitcher in the nightcap.

Ricky Droke had two hits for RC.

This past Monday, Reed City swept Hesperia in CSAA action on the road 14-4 and 10-0.

Stieg was the winner in the first game on a five-hitter. Strach had a home run and three RBIs while Mund added three hits and two RBIs. Justin and Kichak had two hits apiece.

Strach threw a no-hitter in the second game with five innings of work. He fanned 11 batters. Kichak and Mund had two hits apiece.