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Columbus Lakeview Reds Bash Schuyler Juniors in Season Opener

DOUG PHILLIPS Special to the SunMay 28, 2019

With black storm clouds brewing in the western skies, the Schuyler Juniors American Legion Baseball team may have been hoping for the rain to burst forth early in their game against the visiting Columbus Lakeview Reds. Alas, the rain held off just long enough to allow the team from Columbus to seal a 12-1 victory over Schuyler.

The game was held last Thursday at Merchant Park in Schuyler in front of a good crowd of Columbus and Schuyler baseball fans.

In the season opener for both teams, Columbus starting pitcher Brody Mickey teamed with Haustyn Forney on a two-hit gem. Mickey went three innings to pick up the win while striking out seven Schuyler batters and allowing only one hit. Forney tossed two innings of relief allowing one unearned Schuyler run while striking out three and walking one.

Juan Gonzalez started on the hill for Schuyler. He only allowed three hits in three innings of work but he walked six batters and hit another one. The host squad also committed three fielding errors in the first three innings to aid the Columbus Lakeview cause.

Easton Hall pitched the fourth inning for Schuyler and allowed four runs on two hits and two walks but none of the runs were earned as Schuyler booted three more errors in the inning. Caden Shonka did a nice job of pitching the final inning for Schuyler allowing only one hit and not yielding any runs.

“The starters just needed to settle down a bit and find the grip on the ball,” Schuyler head coach Thomas Heavican said. “Once they calmed down they played much better. When we made the changes on defense we had some of the same issues committing too many errors.”

Despite the lopsided loss to the Columbus Junior Reds, Heavican stated he was happy with his team’s performance.

“I’m proud of that they kept working hard and kept their heads up scoring a run late in the game,” he said. “As a coach I need to have the team more focused at the start of the game and we will be just fine.”

The Junior Reds left little doubt early by scoring five runs in the first inning. Mickey was plunked with a pitch by Gonzalez putting a runner at first. Gonzalez then struck out Forney and had Sam Kwapnoski fly out to the right fielder for two quick outs. That is when Gonzalez began to struggle on the mound.

Garrett Oakley reached on an error, Cooper Tessendorf walked, Logan Jaixen drew a base on balls, Shayden Lundstrom reached on another Schuyler error, and Ean Luebbe drew a free pass. Jacob Wagoner grounded back to Gonzalez to end the top of the frame with the Junior Reds completing their five-run explosion without a single base hit.

The Reds added two more runs in the third inning and added another five-run spot in the fourth inning to push the lead to 12-0.

Schuyler’s Colton Bohac reached base on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the fifth inning and raced to second base on a fielding error by the shortstop on the play. A wild pitch by Forney allowed Bohac to scamper to third base with one out.

Logan Johnson struck out for the second out of the inning before Johnathan Vega reached first base on another Reds fielding miscue sending Bohac racing home with Schuyler’s lone run of the evening.

Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net.

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