Chippewa Hills baseball sweeps Reed City to make space atop of CSAA

REED CITY — The quote was up on the dugout wall in black and white and highlighted in pink. Reed City’s Trevor Mund said he thought the Coyotes could compete for a Central State Activities Association title and beat four-time champion Chippewa Hills. The Warriors would have the final say.

Using Mund’s quote as motivation, Chippewa Hills put a stranglehold on the CSAA title with a sweep of the Coyotes, winning the first game 13-1 before squeaking out an 8-6 victory in the nightcap.

The Warriors are now 11-1 in the league, while the Coyotes are 7-3 in the CSAA. Chippewa Hills coach Ben Wright had no problem with the quote, but at times he is looking for a way to motivate his team. That is why the quote went up on the dugout wall. “As a coach, you are looking for little things to inspire your team,” Wright said. “I used it for positive motivation. I told the boys you can’t just show up and play. The target is on our back, but we put it on our back.” The Warriors were locked in a tight game with Reed City in the first game, leading 3-1 going into the top of the fifth inning. Chippewa Hills would score five runs to bust the game open and never look back. Colton Conley had three hits, including a home run in the sixth inning and a pair of doubles. Devin Esch collected three hits. The rest was up to Jake Tarbell. The junior right-hander would throw a one-hitter and fanning 12 batters. The lone hit by the Coyotes was by Glen Ryder. “I think with the success Jake has had in his career, it is hard for me to be impressed,” Wright said. “Maybe, when I look back I’ll go ‘Wow,’ but for me to make him better, I kind of have to be that way.” Reed City coach Scott Shankel thought his team came out a little nervous because of the importance of the twinbill. “I kind of wonder because we played the worst game of the year,” Shankel said. “Cody (Strach, the starting pitcher) doesn’t walk that many and we didn’t hit that well.” Chippewa Hills would get out of the game in a hurry in the nightcap. The Warriors scored three runs in the first inning, getting an RBI double by Dustin Shaw. Chippewa Hills would lead 7-1 only to watch the Coyotes cut the lead to 7-4. Tarbell led the offensive attack for the Warriors with three hits, while Justin Wernette and Nick Halm each had two hits, one of which was a double. Halm also was the winning pitcher. Reed City was paced offensively by Ricky Droke and Dylan Kichak with two hits apiece. Droke also had two RBIs. Strach and Mike Schneidt also had a single. “We started to get things rolling,” Shankel said of the offense. “I takes someone on the team to crack one and that starts to work for us.” Chippewa Hills is in action Friday when it hosts Central Montcalm, while Reed City will travel to White Cloud. Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from Tuesday’s games.