Mohawks win opener of CSAA doubleheader, but Coyotes get their first win in the nightcap

REED CITY — The Reed City baseball team got it’s first win of the season, but it was far from conventional as it split a Central State Activities Association (CSAA) doubleheader on Friday night with the visiting Morley Stanwood Mohawks winning the first game, 9-2, and the Coyotes taking the second game, 9-8, due to a rule that erased two Mohawk runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Morley Stanwood got off to a quick start in the opener, scoring four runs in the first two innings to jump out to an early 4-0 lead. Reed City got two back in the bottom of the third thanks to a deep double from Eric Grannis, but the Mohawks kept the bats going, putting up four more runs in the bottom of the fifth to coast to a 9-2 victory in the opening game.

Tim Cairnduff took the win from the mound in the first game, pitching five innings with eight strikeouts while allowing just two hits. Grannis took the loss for the Coyotes as he tossed 10 strikeouts.

Chase Huntey started off an impressive day at the plate in the opener, going 4-for-4 with three extra base hits and 2 RBIs while Mike Carey and Austin Kozlowski both chipped in two and three RBIs, respectively.

The second game looked to be another easy one for the Mohawks as Chase Huntey got the start on the mound, allowing just one hit and no runs through five innings as the Morley Stanwood bats kept rolling, piling up an 8-0 lead through the top of the sixth.

After allowing just one hit Chase Huntey came out of the game, bringing in Mike Carey on the mound. Josh Saez got things started with a leadoff double for the Coyotes before Carey walked the bases loaded. Kozlowski came in to pitch with zero outs and walked the first batter he faced, making it 8-1. Caleb Wilson stepped up for the Coyotes, slapping a single through the right side of the infield to score two runners, cutting the lead to 8-3.

“The second game we just kind of got into it,” Reed City coach Marty Shaffer said. “We’ve been struggling staying in the game so I’ve been trying to preach to them, and we’ve been talking about being in the game the whole time, even when we’re losing. We were down eight, but we came back and scored nine in the inning so it can happen. Baseball is a funny game.”

The Coyotes brought three more in on walks and an error before taking a 9-8 lead on a controversial suicide squeeze in a too-close-to-call play at the plate as the Coyotes missed the bunt with the umpire calling a diving Saez safe.

With Reed City up 9-8 Morley Stanwood came back to score two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead back at 10-9. The Coyotes came up in the bottom of the inning for their last chance to pick up their first win of the season, but after Cairnduff hit Kyle Wright the home plate umpire called the game due to darkness, reverting the score back to the last complete inning played, giving the Coyotes the 9-8 conference win.

“It was a tough loss,” Morley Stanwood coach Josh Bull said. “On the flip side, we showed a lot of determination, obviously we came back and went up only to be reverted in the seventh...MHSAA rules, actually it’s National Federation rules, says the game reverts to the last completed inning.

“So, I was proud of our effort. When it comes down to it we have to throw strikes and we have to field the ball,” he continued. “Unfortunately, we also had an error sprinkled into that big inning. You get the second out there and you’re still up 8-6 and the game is well in hand.”

“We’re happy to get the first win of the year and break the barrier and just move on,” Shaffer said. “It’s the first win. It stinks that we couldn’t finish the game, but that’s what happens. It’s high school baseball. We don’t have lights here so we’re just trying to score as many runs as we can. If they would’ve put 12 up in the fourth inning it would be the same thing (with the mercy rule). It just happened at a weird time and I’m actually OK with it because we could’ve still been playing right now and it’s pretty dark.”

Kozlowski took the loss in the nightcap after pitching just one-third of an inning as he allowed four runs while Austin Hansen picked up the win for the Coyotes. Chase Huntey stayed hot at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double, triple and 3 RBIs to complete his 8-for-8 day at the dish.

Wilson went 2-for-3 for the Coyotes with two RBIs in the victory.

Morley Stanwood (4-4, 3-1 CSAA) returns to action on Tuesday at home against Hesperia while the Coyotes (1-9, 1-3 CSAA) play at Holton.