Coyotes settle for split against Central Montcalm

REED CITY — Timely hitting is an essential factor for baseball teams in trying to win ballgames.

In the first game of a Central State Activities Association doubleheader on Friday, Reed City fired out to a 3-0 lead over Central Montcalm but then couldn’t get the clutch hits the rest of the way and fell 4-3 in the rematch in eight innings. In the nightcap Reed City prevailed 11-1 in six innings.

It was Reed City’s first CSAA loss. Reed City entered this week 9-6 overall and 7 -1 in the conference.

Central Montcalm rallied for three runs in the sixth inning of the opener to tie the game. The Hornets put together a single and triple for the winning run in the top of eighth.

Codie Strach went all eight innings, striking out 17 and allowing two walks and eight hits. Trevor Mund had two hits while Dylan Kichak had two hits including a two-run triple in the first inning.

“I don’t know how many guys we left on base, probably 12 to 15,” said Reed City coach Scott Shankel. “We had several guys in scoring position. We left guys on second and third three or four innings. That hurts when you can’t get those guys in.”

“We had them down early but we couldn’t add more to it,” Kichak said.

Ryder and Kichak both had RBI singles to spark a three-run first inning in the second game. The Coyotes also had four in the second, two in the third and two in the seventh. Mund beat out an infield hit for the game-ending run in the bottom of the sixth.

“We hit the ball and got the key hits,” Shankel said. “The guys got into scoring position. We got timely hits and the guys scored.”

Ryder had three hits plus three RBIs while Strach had one hit and one RBI.

“In the first game, we hit everything in the air,” Shankel said. “In the second game, everything was a line drive or on the ground. That makes a big difference.”

“Everybody was making contact,” Kichak said. “We’re pretty good in hitting the ball no matter what the weather is.”

Ryan Willis went the distance, striking out four, walking none and giving up one hit.

The Coyotes broke a three-game losing streak by winning the second game.

“Considering the weather conditions and everything else, it wasn’t a bad week but I would have liked to have won two,” Shankel said.

Thursday, the Coyotes are home against Manton.

VS. MASON COUNTY CENTRAL

On Thursday at Scottville, the Coyotes lost 6-1 and 6-4 in a pair of nonleague games. Trevor Mund, Dylan Kichak and Codie Strach had hits in the first game. Ricky Droke took the pitching loss, striking out three.

Reed and Strach had hits in the second game. Sean Woodside was the losing pitcher.

VS. MORLEY STANWOOD

The Coyotes won 10-4 in the first game of a CSAA doubleheader April 24 at Morley Stanwood but had to hang on for dear life in the second contest for a 7-6 victory when the Mohawks had the tying run on third base.

“Their runner … we made a good play, got him in the pickle and made something happen,” said Reed City coach Scott Shankel. “He was getting halfway down there. I think he was trying to draw a throw. We kind of pump faked it.”

Eric Grannis had two hits and two RBIs while Ryan Willis had two hits and an RBI and Glen Ryder one hit and two RBIs.

“The key was staying behind our pitchers and getting the outs when we needed to and the hitting when we needed to,” Grannis said.

Cody Strach was the winning pitcher, going all seven innings, striking out four and walking four. He allowed six hits and just one earned run. Steve Hopkins had two hits for the Mohawks.

In the second game, Andy Molitor was on third base in the bottom of the seventh and represented the tying run. He worked his way down the line. Coyote catcher Ricky Droke threw the ball to third base and got Molitor into a rundown. Droke put on the tag on Molitor to win the game for the Coyotes.

Droke and Chad Samuels had two hits apiece. Samuels had three RBIs.

Willis was the winning pitcher. The Mohawks got off to a 2-0 lead but Willis was able to take control the rest of the way, allowing just four hits while walking three.

“Hitting wise I did pretty good,” Willis said. “I thought I threw pretty good. I threw strikes. The first couple of innings were not too good. After that, I got into the rhythm.”

“Obviously I would have liked to have won a little bigger,” Shankel said. “A win’s a win. It takes us a couple of innings to wake up and then after that everything kind of comes around. They scored two in the first then we kind of woke up a little bit and played a little better defensively.”