Comets win one, lose one

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Thursday, June 13, 2013
The Comets baseball team split a double header with Mid-Prairie at Wellman on June 6. West Liberty won the first game 8-3 and lost the nightcap 1-11.

“Our defense was good (in game one),” West Liberty Head Coach Troy Wulf said. “Brett (Becker) did a good job on the mound. He made them hit, and that’s the key in any game. Zach (Courbat) did a good job in game two (pitching in relief). He came and and gave up a couple runs...but he didn’t walk as many.”

After two quick outs in the top of the first, Tyler Newsom worked the count full then hit a homerun to straight-away center. Chuy Garcia reached on an error by Mid-Prairie shortstop, then Cooper Koenig hit a double to left field, scoring Garcia. Tanner Mueller lined a single to right field scoring Koenig. The next batter batted into a fielder’s choice, and Ryan Alpen, who was running for Mueller, was out at second base.

Brett Becker was on the mound for the Comets, and he struck out the Mid-Prairie lead-off batter. The next batter grounded out to Newsom at shortstop. A two-out Golden Hawks single to center field came to nothing when the next batter flied out to Troy Heick in left field to end the inning.

Becker got a two-out infield single in the second, but the next batter struck out. Mid-Prairie got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning. A one-out single was followed by a couple of West Liberty errors, allowing a Mid-Prairie run to score.

The Comets added an insurance run in the top of the third. Newsom led off with a double just inside the left field foul line. Garcia got a five-pitch base on balls. Newsom stole second, and there were Comets at the corners. Garcia was caught stealing for the first out of the inning. Koenig grounded out to the shortstop, but Newsom scored. Mueller hit a single up the middle, and Heick reached on an error, but a strikeout left two on base for West Liberty.

In the bottom of the third, Becker fielded a groundout for the first out, then a fly out to Daniel Jacques in center field made it two away. Two Mid-Prairie players walked, and one stole third base, but a pop out to Newsom at short ended the threat.

West Liberty scored three big runs in the top of the fourth, all with two outs. Jacques started it off with a four-pitch base on balls. Newsom reached on an error, and both runners advanced on the throw. Garcia hit a single to right field, and Jacques and Newsom both came in to score. Koenig reached on an error on the Mid-Prairie right fielder, and Garcia scored from first base. Koenig took second base on the throw home, but the next batter grounded out, stranding the runner at second.

Mid-Prairie got a one-out base on balls in the bottom of the fourth. The next batter struck out, then a single to center field put runners at first and second. The third out came on a fly out to Manny Lopez in right field.

In the top of the fifth, West Liberty scored again. Troy Heick reached on an error, then a balk advanced Heick to second. Zach Courbat drew a base on balls. Heick was caught off base at second for the first out of the inning. Lopez hit into a fielder’s choice, and Courbat was out at second. With Becker at the plate, Lopez stole second base, then stole third base. Becker hit a bouncer to right field, and Lopez scored. The next batter struck out for the third out.

Mid-Prairie scored their second run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. They got a lead-off walk, but the runner was caught stealing second. The next batter hit a double to left field, then a Golden Hawk reached base on an error. There were runners at first and third. A fielder’s choice scored a run, then a single up the middle put runners at first and second with two outs. Becker struck out the next batter looking to end the inning.

The Comets went down in order in the top of the sixth, and Mid-Prairie returned the favor.

West Liberty was also retired in order in the top of the seventh. Needing six runs to stay alive, Mid-Prairie managed one in the bottom of the seventh. The first batter drew a base on balls,. A pop out to Courbat at first base was followed by a hit batsman. A double to center field scored one for Mid-Prairie. Newsom came in to finish off the Hawks. He caught a pop up, then got a fly out to center field, helped out by a nice diving catch by Jacques.

“I really don’t think our kids were ready to play in the beginning,” Mid-Prairie Head Coach Ryan Koller said. “We’re young, we’re making mistakes, and there’s some growing pains. It was nice to come back and 10-run a team (in the second game).

West Liberty stats: Brett Becker 2-4, 1 stolen base; Daniel Jacques 1-3, 1 run, 1 walk; Tyler Newsom 3-4, 3 runs, 1 double, 1 home run, 1 RBI; Chuy Garcia 2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Cooper Koenig 2-3, 1 run, 1 double, 2 RBIs; Tanner Mueller 2-4, 1 RBI; Troy Heick 2-4, 1 stolen base; Zach Courbat 1 walk; Manny Lopez 1 run, 2 stolen bases. Pitching: Brett Becker pitched 6 1/3 innings and got the win. He gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits. He walked seven and struck out three. Tyler Newsom pitched 2/3 inning.

Mid-Prairie stats: Nick Stimson 1-4; Seth Eash 1-2, 1 run, 2 walks; Spencer Shalla 1-3, 1 run, 1 double, 2 stolen bases, 1 walk; Jackson Yoder 1 walk; Karson Duwa 2-4, 1 run, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs; Adam Schrock 2-4; Carson Christianson 1 RBI, 1 walk; Derek Rich 1 stolen base, 1 walk. Pitching: Jonas Coblentz pitched three innings and took the loss. He gave up four runs, two earned, on seven hits. He walked one and struck out three. Nick Stimson pitched four innings. He gave up four runs, one earned, on four hits. He walked two and struck out three.

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