For The Tribune
Only two Jackson County schools, at one location, would play sports in the rain Saturday.
Brownstown Central’s baseball team pounded out 25 hits to defeat Trinity Lutheran 10-0 in five innings and then win 6-5 on a wet field in a doubleheader on the Braves’ field.
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“It was sloppy,” Braves coach John Lawson said, referring to the rain that fell throughout the day. “I hate to lose a doubleheader to weather. Those are almost impossible to make up. These guys are local, and it’s nice to play the county teams.”
The Braves had three big innings in the opener.
They scored three runs on four hits in the first inning, with Mitchell Grider and Sy Zickler driving in runs with hits, and another run scored on a balk.
Cole Brock led off the fourth inning with a double. Zach McCory drove in two runs with a single, and Grider added a run-scoring single.
The Braves bunched four hits together to score four runs in the fifth. Brock drove in two runs with a single, and Grider had the final RBI.
Grider was 4 for 4 with three RBIs and scored one run.
Collin DeHart, Zickler, Austin McMahon and Brock each had two hits.
Zickler pitched a three-hit shutout, had three strikeouts and walked one.
“Sy pitched a nice game first game, and we battled on the mound in the second game,” Lawson said. “That is kind of what we were going with today. We were going to go mostly with the sophomores today, and (Austin) Green came in there at the end and got three outs. It was good experience for them. They did a good job. They battled and got it done for us.”
The second game was tied at 3 after two innings courtesy of a pair of three-run home runs.
In the bottom of the first, Ty Maxie and McCory hit singles before Grider unloaded a three-run home run.
In the top of the second, Chandler Reynolds and Kendall White hit singles and Matt Fourman followed with a three-run blast over the fence in right-center.
The Cougars gained their first lead of the day in the top of the fourth when Nick Mensendiek was hit by a pitch, Fourman was safe on an error, Tyler Wenig singled to drive in Mensendiek and Jake Moore singled to bring in Fourman.
The Braves got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when Christian Lockman tripled and scored on a groundout by DeHart.
Zech Wesley led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk, and Lockman followed with a single. After DeHart advanced the runners with a sacrifice, Maxie singled to right field to easily score Wesley, and Lockman raced home when the ball rolled past the right fielder.
Grider was 6 for 8 with six RBIs for the day.
Maxie had three hits and a walk, and Lockman had two hits in the second game.
“We had a lot of different guys contribute throughout the day,” Lawson said. “We had a little bit younger lineup, some of the guys that hadn’t seen a lot of regular time in game two, and it was nice to get those guys in and keep them in and try to develop the entire team. It was nice to get the wins and move on and try to prepare for next week.”
Fourman and Moore each had two hits for the Cougars in the second game.
“We came back around, and I wanted to see how the players reacted from that first game,” Cougars coach Bob Tabeling said. “We got down but came back and put some balls in play. Matt got a home run for us and got us right back in the game, and we took a 5-3 lead, but Brownstown is going to keep coming at you. They’re going to keep swinging the bats. We made a couple fundamental mistakes, and they make you pay for it.
“It was good to see us come back, but it’s still a disappointing loss. We didn’t have a lot of productivity in that first game. Our pitching in both games was pretty good. We didn’t walk a lot of guys.”
The Braves are 6-3, and the Cougars are 6-6.