Chewelah gets tougher than expected win
The Chewelah Cougarsâ baseÂball team played the first game of their season last week, winÂning in eight innings at Kettle Falls, 4-2.
Caleb Wiebe pitched six strong innings for Chewelah, striking out 10 and only giving up one run, while Calvin Connal got the victory in relief, striking out four and givÂing up one run in his two inÂnings of work.
Wiebe outdueled Kettle Falls right-hander, Tyler Vining.
Head coach Luke Jeanneret was pleased with the difficult opening win.
âFor our first game out, Iâm happy,â Jeanneret said. âIt was nice to get a game in.â
The game allowed new catcher Kordell Bean to work closely with two of the Cougarsâ strongest pitchers, Wiebe and Connal.
âCaleb was efficient with his pitches,â the coach said. âHe used only 72 to pitch six innings and ring up ten strikeouts. Calvin put in some pretty good work in his two innings too. And what Kordell did behind the plate put some people at ease. I think heâs going to be a good catcher.â
This was the first game for the Cougars under the new bat rules set forth by the WIAA. It seems that the new, slower veloÂcities of the ball coming off the bat will help the pitching-rich Cougars even more this season.
At any rate, look for more low-scoring games and less âpopâ from those metal bats.
âThere was a ball hit by Tyler Vining from Kettle Falls that last year would have gotten over the outÂfielderâs head and may have had a chance to get out,â JeanÂneret related of a ball hit by Kettleâs pitcher in the opener at Kettle Falls. âBut this year, it was a routine fly ball. This is going to take away the smaller player hitting a ball over the outfielderâs head...itâs just like hitting with a wood bat. Itâll be fun to see what happens.â
As usual, the weather is as much of a factor in the early baseball season as any player. This week will be no exception. Periods of rain this week may change the schedule again.
As of Monday, Tuesdayâs game against Freeman was up in the air because the baseball fields at Freeman and Chewelah are still unplayable. Freeman, with a soggy field all last spring, is still trying to find an alternate site to play.
On Friday and SatÂurday, the Cougars will be travÂeling to ColÂfax for a two-day tournament.
Wiebe, Connal (7) and Bean; Vining, McNeil (7) and Cook. W-Connal (1-0). L-McNeil (0-1).
HITS: Chewelah: 2B-Baker. 3B-Connal.