Ewing homers twice as Cardinals down Red Devils
East Jordan pitched its top-two arms, but Johannesburg-Lewiston's bats came ready to play Friday.
Jett Ewing homered twice – which included his first-career dinger – and the Cardinals (9-5) topped the host Red Devils 20-5 and 2-1 in non conference baseball action.
In the first game, J-L collected 19 hits and scored nine runs in the first inning and 10 in the fifth.
Ewing finished 4-for-5 batting with five RBIs, while Tommy Runyan drove in four runs and Tyler Madej drove in three. Tanner Shimel was 3-for-3 with three RBIs.
Sheldon Huff and Lucas Newell combined to strike out three and walk one.
In the nightcap, Dan Runyan doubled to score Huff for the winning run in the sixth. Shimel scored on a passed ball in the first.
Tommy Runyan struck out three and walked four in six innings.
"They threw their ace against us, and we absolutely shelled him," J-L coach Cody Proctor said. "We didn't hit the ball nearly as well in the second game, but we got it done when we needed to. I had freshmen on the mound and players in positions who don't normally get a whole lot of time.
"It was really good for them to scratch out a win. That game, winning 2-1, was so huge for my freshmen. It was a really good experience for them, and we're starting to come around at the right time going into the (the playoffs)."
Cardinals overcome slow start to edge Central Lake
The Johannesburg-Lewiston baseball team's dugout couldn't have been any rowdier against Inland Lakes last week.
But the Cardinals (7-5, 4-3 SVC) didn't have any of that excitement when it started its Ski Valley doubleheader Thursday at Central Lake.
After a groggy opening couple of innings, Tyler Madej snapped a 4-4 tie in the fourth by singling home Tanner Shimel for the winning run, as J-L walked away winners, 5-4.
"It was weird because we were just dead to start that game," J-L coach Cody Proctor said. "Tanner struck a kid out, and nobody even said anything.
"So we got after them and came back and scored four in the second inning. Once we got going, we did hit the ball well in that game."
Shimel and Tommy Runyan finished with three hits and one double apiece, while Shimel struck out eight and walked none in six innings.
"We went back to last Friday with Inland Lakes, and there were all kinds of life in our dugout, and it was a high-intensity game," Proctor said. "There was none of that today to start the game.
"We kind of went back to that, found a little bit of life and put some stuff together in that (second) inning."
The Cardinals dropped the nightcap to rival St. Mary 12-3 after they gave up nine runs when the Snowbirds faced two-out scenarios.
Runyan (two RBIs) grounded out to second to score Jett Ewing and tie it 2-2 in the first inning. St. Mary then scored nine unanswered runs.
Shimel and Ewing had two hits apiece. Matt Ross and Dylan Agee combined to strike out three.
The series was the first two of 10 games J-L will play over an eight-day stretch.
Carroll's 2-run single, youth push Cardinals past Pellston
Johannesburg-Lewiston's youth took a step in the right direction during a Ski Valley baseball doubleheader Friday.
The Cardinals (6-4, 3-3 SVC) topped Pellston 10-3 after Austin Carroll sent a single to left to score Tommy Runyan and Lucas Newell for the winning runs as part of a four-run third inning.
Tyler Madej and Runyan collected three RBIs apiece, while Madej and Sheldon Huff combined for nine strikeouts on the mound.
Inland Lakes edged the Cardinals in the nightcap 7-5, as the Bulldogs scored a pair of runs in the final inning.
One inning earlier, Kevin Gehringer singled to bring home Dylan Agee to tie the score, 5-5.
Jett Ewing doubled and had two RBIs, while Tanner Shimel fanned six in six innings.
"I was happy with tonight," J-L coach Cody Proctor said. "I was playing three freshmen and two sophomores, and we battled. Indian River is a good baseball team, and they hit the hell out of the ball, too.
"For a bunch of young kids, they really played their hearts out."
Snowbirds edge Onaway, J-L to remain undefeated in SVC
ONAWAY — And that’s why Drew Long has won back-to-back Herald Times Player of the Year awards.
The St. Mary pitcher got himself out of a jam in the third inning, only giving up a pair of runs, to help the Snowbirds defeat host Onaway 4-2 in a Ski Valley baseball game Monday.
The Snowbirds (9-3, 4-0 SVC) also topped rival Johannesburg-Lewiston 8-5 the same day to remain undefeated in the conference as they look for their third-straight league title.
Long gave up two walks and two singles in that dreaded third inning, but the senior finished with 10 strikeouts in six innings.
“He’s been there before,” St. Mary coach Matt Nowicki said. “It’s nice that he has that presence on the mound. You know he’s not going to blow up.
“He can get into a jam, and that’s OK. You want him to pitch out of it and see things work out.”
Alex Pudvan singled to short to score Andrew Zielinski for the winning run in the first inning. Quinn Schultz and Zielinski also drove in runs during the frame.
Logan Murrell scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Drew Koenig was 3-for-3 hitting, while Long added two hits.
Onaway pitcher Trevor Wregglesworth, an Alma College signee and largely considered the second-best pitcher in the league, struck out seven but allowed eight hits and three walks.
Against J-L, St. Mary held an 8-0 lead until it had a meltdown in the final inning and gave up five runs.
Koenig doubled to left to score Joseph Moeggenberg for the winning run in the fourth.
The Cardinals scored on five consecutive at-bats, which included Tyler Madej doubling to bring home Tanner Shimel.
Three St. Mary's errors led to three runs for J-L.
“We played super solid right up until the top of the sixth,” Nowicki said. “We just didn’t field very well.
“We suffered from a bit of lack of focus. It hasn’t bit us in the butt yet, but that’s why you practice these things.”
Koenig and Moeggenberg led with two hits apiece for St. Mary, while Sheldon Huff had J-L’s only other hit.
On the mound, Koenig struck out 12 to pick up the win, and Shimel and Huff combined for five strikeouts for J-L.
“We looked really good in the last inning,” J-L coach Cody Proctor said. “All of a sudden, our bats came alive, and we started pounding the ball, and that carried into the first inning against Onaway.”
Onaway beat J-L in the nightcap 10-5, despite J-L out hitting its opponent 10-9.
Shimel and Dylan Agee collected three hits apiece, while Tommy Runyan drove in a pair of runs. Madej and Huff combined to fan five batters on the hill.
The Cardinals (5-3, 0-2 SVC) lost to Roscommon 6-0 during their annual Val Kapture tournament Saturday, but they rebounded to defeat Lincoln Alcona 7-2 in the consolation game.
Lucas Newell scored on a throwing error in the second inning to secure the win. Huff and Matt Ross struck out three batters apiece, while seven different Cardinals drove in runs.
Cardinals give Coach Proctor another 2 wins on his birthday
For the second straight season, Johannesburg-Lewiston gave coach Cody Proctor a pair of reasons to celebrate on his birthday.
Thanks to a lights-out pitching effort from Tanner Shimel, the Cardinals (4-0, 2-0 SVC) topped host Bellaire 8-0 and Forest Area 8-4 in a neutral site Ski Valley baseball showdown Thursday at Craven Park, while Proctor rang in his 30th birthday.
Shimel blanked the Eagles with a staggering 13 strikeouts. He allowed only three hits and no walks in all six innings.
"He was just in a groove," Proctor said. "He was working fast, and he threw a lot of his strikes. His curve ball was working well. We played pretty good defense behind him, too, when they did put the ball into play. He was lights out."
Proctor didn't even realize how great the junior had thrown until he looked at the stats on the bus ride home.
"Tanner's a year older and has gotten more velocity," the second-year coach said. "He's hitting his spots more, and things are just starting to click more for him this year."
In the third, Dan Runyan hit a ground ball that turned into a Bellaire error, which gave Shimel and Dylan Agee enough time to scoot home for the winning runs.
Runyan, Shimel and Kevin Gehringer had two RBIs apiece.
A four-run sixth inning clinched the win against Forest Area, which saw Tommy Runyan score Tyler Madej for the winning run.
Matt Ross was 3-for-3 batting, and Shimel drove in two runs, but the Cardinals had to combat the pesky pitching of Forest Area's Hunter Perkins, who struck out seven in six innings.
"He threw fairly hard and threw a lot of strikes early," Proctor said. "It took us a couple of innings to get it together. We shelled the ball pretty well today once we got it going."
Last year, the Cardinals used two Jacob Smith home runs to sweep Ellsworth on Proctor's special day.
Let's see what they'll have in store for his 31st birthday.
Johannesburg-Lewiston coach Cody Proctor didn't want to throw both of his starting pitchers as much as he did Wednesday at Forest Area.
But the second-year coach chose to do so anyway because of how well-conditioned Tanner Shimel and Tyler Madej are from routinely throwing inside the Cardinals' gymnasium at practice.
Shimel and Madej pitched J-L to 13-3 and 17-4 wins, respectively, in its season opener – a rare non-league matchup between the Cardinals and the Warriors.
"They both threw more pitches than I would have liked, but they were pitching well and both of them asked to stay in, so I decided to keep them in," Proctor said. "Because we're in the gym a lot, their arms are in really good shape."
In Game 1, Madej singled to center to bring home Jett Ewing and Dan Runyan for the winning runs in the second inning.
Shimel did the rest on the mound to preserve the win. The junior pitched a complete game, striking out 12 and walking only three.
"Tanner looked really good today," Proctor said. "He was hitting his spots and was pretty sharp today. He walked a few, but it wasn't too bad. His curve ball was working well, and we kept them (Forest Area) on their toes."
The Cardinals (2-0) recorded 12 hits in the matchup, which included Runyan driving in three runs, scoring three times and recording a triple. Shimel and Ewing both went 3-for-4.
An eight-run third inning put away Forest Area in the nightcap, while Madej drove in five runs and recorded a pair of doubles throughout the game.
Madej went five innings pitching, striking out seven and walking six.
"Tyler just seemed like if he did walk a kid, it never came around to hurt us," Proctor said. "We played pretty good defense behind him.
"Through the doubleheader, we probably had four errors. I wasn't super upset about that either because we haven't been outside. There were just a couple, and it was nothing major."
J-L collected 11 hits, led by Sheldon Huff going 3-for-4 and scoring three runs of his own.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they're off until they visit Ellsworth for a doubleheader Wednesday, May 2.
Proctor said he's just happy to finally get outside.
"The kids played pretty well today," he said. "Forest Area struggled, pitching-wise, at times, but when they did put it in there, we were hitting the ball hard, and I want to see more of that going forward.
"I'm just pleased because we got to go there today, and I'm pleased with the way we played. For not being outside too much, they did really well."
ELSIE — Thirsty for a chance to play on an actual diamond, the Johannesburg-Lewiston baseball team got to play for about five hours Saturday at Ovid-Elsie.
The Cardinals went through a simulated scrimmage with the Marauders where both teams took turns putting runners on bases with different situational leads and deficits. Before and after the game, J-L got in about 90-minute practices.
It was the first time the Cardinals have taken the field all spring, as the mountain of snow on their field has kept them in the gym for practices.
"For our first time on a field, I did think it went well, and we hit good, too," J-L coach Cody Proctor said. "I thought the boys were pretty aggressive at the plate. We played OK defense, but you could definitely tell we were shaking off a little rust."
On the mound, Proctor threw Tanner Shimel, Tyler Madej, Sheldon Huff and Dylan Agee. Outside of Shimel, who is a returning starter, Proctor is looking for one of the other pitchers to step up and take command of the No. 2 starting role.
"We haven't pitched on a real mound yet, but Tanner ended up settling in well after a few shaky first couple of batters," Proctor said. "I thought the other guys threw well, too, but I got some things to work on, which was the focus of going down there for the scrimmage."
Proctor had one obvious takeaway following the scrimmage.
"I want to focus on defense a lot since we're going back in the gym again," the second-year coach said. "It's a little tougher, but we have to work on situational base running.
"We were weak on knowing what to do when we were on the base paths. That comes down to not being able to be in those situations yet this spring."
The Cardinals traveled to Olivet the night before to watch former J-L star Logan Huff play for Alma College in a Division III game. They stayed the night at a Lansing-area hotel Friday night and then made their way over to Elsie the next morning.
The weekend was beneficial for his team, Proctor said.
"We got to get outside so we could start getting settled in," he said. "We're young, and we looked young at times, but it was beneficial for us to get on the field and put a bunch of kids together who haven't spent much time together before when we were at the hotel."
J-L is slated to visit Ellsworth on Wednesday, May 2.