The Jenkins High baseball team has been scuffling to start the season with a 3-7 record. But head coach Luke Jeanneret hopes solid play during a Spring Break trip to Warden will help give his young team confidence entering the second half of the Northeast A League schedule that gets started this week.
â€śWe played a really good team tough for two games and took one from them,â€ť Jeanneret said of the trip to Warden. â€śI hope weâ€™ve turned a corner; the kids are right there on the edge. I keep encouraging them and hope they realize how good they are.â€ť
On Saturday, the Cougars hosted Medical Lake and lost both ends of the doubleheader, 8-6 and 10-3.
In game one, Andrew Hansen took the mound and pitched well, but Hansen didnâ€™t get much support from his defense. With an early 1-0 lead, Chewelahâ€™s defense committed five errors and the Cardinals took advantage, scoring four runs in the third and three more in the fourth to take a 7-2 lead into the later innings.
Going into the bottom of the seventh, the Cougars trailed 8-2, but the Chewelah bats came alive and the Cougs scored four runs in the inning before Medical Lake could close out the Cougars and escape with the 8-6 victory.
â€śWe competed well,â€ť said Jeanneret. â€śHansen pitched his butt off; we just kicked it around too much.â€ť
Seven ML runs were unearned and they had eight hits and one error in game one, while the Cougars managed seven hits, including a double by Chase Frizzell.
Hansen took the loss.
In game two, Chewelah came out flat and found itself trailing early. Medical Lake led 4-2 after the fourth inning and broke the game open with a four run fifth and cruised to a 10-3 victory.
Medical Lake had 13 hits and made two errors. Chewelah once again had seven hits and committed six errors.
Taylor Nicholas started the game and took the loss, while freshman Dominic Coleman was the hitting star, picking up two hits, including a double.
â€śOur pitchers were working from behind most of the game,â€ť Jeanneret said. â€śToo many walks and base runners with no outs.
â€śWe also left too many base runners on in both games.â€ť
Last Tuesday, Chewelah traveled to Warden for a doubleheader against the Cougars. In game one, Chewelah sent Ryan Bell to the hill and Warden proceeded to score four runs in the first two innings, turning an early Chewelah lead into a 4-1 hole.
Ryder Robison took over in the third, but Warden nicked him for three runs in the next two innings before Kellen Ward finished out the 8-3 loss.
Harris impressive in game 2
Chewelah had seven hits and only made two errors in the field. Bell took the loss, while Coleman picked up two more hits.
In game two, freshman Bryce Harris got the start on the hill, looking to help Chewelah earn the split. Harris was impressive, going the seven-inning distance and giving up one fifth inning run, while striking out four batters.
Chewelah scored three runs on seven hits, including a pair of hits for Kellen Ward and a double from Hansen.
Chewelah played errorless baseball and coach Jeanneret was pleased with his teamâ€™s play all around.
â€śWarden is a pretty good team,â€ť he said. â€śWe only struck out three or four guys each game, so we had to make the plays. It was fun to watch and we needed that good effort.â€ť
On Wednesday, the Cougars travel to Freeman for a 4 p.m. game and on Saturday Chewelah will host Newport in a NEA doubleheader that starts at 11 a.m.