Dexter Karban of Coleman flips a ball at first base to pitcher Alex Stodola to record an out during the seventh inning of the team’s game against Stephenson on Friday. <br>EagleHerald/Billy Betts
Dexter Karban of Coleman flips a ball at first base to pitcher Alex Stodola to record an out during the seventh inning of the team’s game against Stephenson on Friday.
EagleHerald/Billy Betts
COLEMAN - Stephenson has learned to grow up in a hurry in its first two years of having a spring baseball team.
Take away two tough innings for the Eagles against a superior Coleman team, the matchup was fairly even in a 6-1 Cougars' win Friday.
Injuries have derailed the hopes of the young Eagles team throughout the year, but, as Stephenson coach Dan Koller said, "you have to keep playing" and the Eagles did just that against the best the M&O Conference has to offer.
Coleman jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first inning. Derek Marquardt lined a single up the middle with one out, stole second and scored on a single by Blake Margis.
Stephenson pitcher Trevor Christopherson kept the Cougars at bay over the next two innings until their powerful bats picked up in the fourth.
Mason Mergener led off the fourth by reaching on an error at second. After a flyout, Dexter Karban doubled Mergener to third, Jackson Margis drew a walk and Alex Stodola roped a single up the middle to drive in two runs.
With two outs, Nick Sailor socked a base hit to left which scored Margis, but Stodola was thrown out at home to end the inning with Coleman up 4-0.
Coleman tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning as Trevor Seewald beat out an infield single and Derek Marquardt rocketed a triple to left-center. Two pitches later, Marquardt scored on a wild pitch.
"We didn't hit the ball as well as I would have hoped we would, but we had a nice stretch over those two innings," Coleman coach Kent Casper said.
Stephenson found the scoreboard in the sixth. Ricky Chaney drew a walk, advanced to third on a single up the middle by Christoperson and scored on a wild pitch.
The Cougars, who are preparing for regional tournament action that begins next Friday, were able to give three pitchers work in the game.
Trevor Seewald threw the first five innings. He didn't allow a run and only gave up three hits while striking out three hitters.
Jackson Margis gave up one run in the sixth inning and Stodola pitched a scoreless seventh as he worked out of a no-out jam with runners on first and second by striking out the next three batters to end the game.
"I wasn't really pleased with our hitting today, but I liked what I saw from our pitchers," Casper said. "I think we went through the motions a bit at the plate, but as far as our defense and pitching went, we looked ready for the tournament today."
Christopherson suffered the loss for the Eagles (4-8). He allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits with two punchouts.
"Coleman is just a very talented baseball team, but I was happy with the way we challenged them at times today," Koller said. "We're trying to change the culture here a bit and I think we're slowly doing that. There have been some injuries along the way, but I was happy with the way we looked today which was much better then we did on Thursday. I think we're only going to get better."
Coleman, now 14-1 overall, will play host to Gibralter today.
WP - Trevor Seewald 5IP, 0R, 3H, 3K, 0W
LP - Trevor Christopherson 6IP, 6R, 5ER, 8H, 2K, 1W
Leading Hitters (Coleman): Derek Marquardt 2x3, 3B; Dexter Karban 1x3, 2B; (Stephenson): Eddy Becerra 1x3, 2B; Ricky Chaney 1x2
Coleman 100 320 x - 6
Stephenson 000 001 0 - 1