2014-04-13 / Sports

Bulldogs fall to Vikes, sweep Tribe in opening week action

The St. Charles varsity baseball team opened the season with a pair of Tri- Valley Conference foes, and managed to go 2-2.

On Tuesday, the ‘Dawgs hosted neighboring rival Swan Valley, and dropped both ends of the doubleheader. The teams agreed to play a pair of five inning games.

In the opener, the Bulldogs trailed 3-1 after four innings and made a pitching change, only to see the wheels fall off. The reliever struggled and the Vikings took advantage for a 13-1 victory.

Kyle Clark took the loss. He gave up three runs off five hits with two walks while fanning three in four innings of work.

Caleb Damic led the St. Charles hitters with a single and a RBI. Anthony Miller, John Loachridge and Clark each had a hit.

In the nightcap, the Vikings won 4-2. Billy Blair took the loss for the ‘Dawgs. He went the full five innings, giving up three runs off seven hits and a walk while striking out six.

Brendan Nieman had a double and a RBI. Clark and Brendan Slick each had a hit and a RBI.

“We didn’t play real sharp in our first outing,” said St. Charles coach Roger Henninger. “We made some mental mistakes. We’re young, with quite a few sophomores again, and some juniors without a lot of playing time. This game gave us some to build from.”

On Thursday, the ‘Dawgs traveled to Chesaning for a doubleheader with another neighborhood rival.

The Bulldogs unlimbered the bats in the opener, winning 15-4 in five innings.

“As the visitors, we batted first,” Henninger said. “With our first four batters, we had two singles and two doubles, then the flood gates opened. It was nice to get out ahead in this game.”

The ‘Dawgs also scored five runs in the fourth inning.

Clark got the win on the mound. He went the full five innings, allowing four runs off four hits with five walks while striking out six.

He also helped his cause at the plate, swatting two hits, including a double, with two RBI. Damic also had two hits and two RBI. Kyle Helfrich had a double and a RBI. Jared Fath and Slick each had a hit and a RBI.

In the nightcap, Blair picked up the 6-4 win for the Bulldogs. He went the full five innings, allowing four runs off two hits with a walk and seven strikeouts.

The ‘Dawgs held a 5-0 lead after three innings, only to see the Tribe put up four runs in the fourth to make it close. The rally stalled when the Bulldogs got the third out of the inning at home plate. St. Charles added an insurance run in the last inning.

Damic had a pair of hits, including a double. Slick and Trent Warren each had a hit with a RBI. Nieman and Clark also had a hit apiece.

The Bulldogs are slated to host Millington on Tuesday, then travel to Midland’s Dow Diamond to face Sanford Meridian on Thursday.

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