Coalers get their wins despite tough schedule

COAL CITY’S pitching was on display last Thursday, when they hosted Clifton Central. The Coalers threw four pitchers in total, as they defeated the Comets, 7-1. Sean Micetich threw one inning in relief, securing a strikeout. Photo by Fred Ruetz.
Brent Sumner
Staff Writer

    The Coal City varsity baseball team picked up their fourth win of the season on Monday, defeating Prairie Central, 5-3.
    The Coalers (4-2 overall) grabbed a two-run lead in the second inning, but Prairie Central tied it up 2-2 in the top of the third.
    Coal City wound up retaking the lead for the final time in the bottom of the same frame, scoring two runs. They would add an insurance run in the fifth, and Prairie Central would add one in the sixth.
    Sean Micetich recorded the go-ahead runs, hitting a two-run double in third. He finished with one hit and two RBIs.
    Payton Hutchings and Zack Nolan both recorded two runs on the day. Hutchings had a double.
    Jake Brnca and Blake Harseim also added hits on the day.
    “It was a tough day for hitting, and we did not hit well as a team,” said head coach Jerry McDowell. “Our pitching was good again today, and we ran the bases well, which got us three extra runs.”
    Brnca recorded the win on the mound, as he put in five innings of work. He let up two runs (one earned) off four hits, walked five and struck out six.
    Harseim recorded the save pitching two innings. He surrendered just one earned run off two hits, walked two and struck out two.
    “We have a tough schedule, so we have to keep getting better,” added McDowell.
    The Coalers traveled to Bloomington on Tuesday, and will then hit the road again on Thursday to face Crete Monee.
    They will return home on Friday when they host Illinois Valley at noon.
Oswego 7,
Coal City 0

    The Coalers ran into a tough opponent last Friday when they traveled to Oswego for some non-conference action. The loss put a damper on the Coalers’ three-game winning streak.
    Coal City collected six hits, but just couldn’t push a run across, as Oswego would tally three runs by the bottom of the second, and four more down the stretch.
    “We were a little shorthanded with four players missing for a school function, but Oswego is a nice program,” McDowell said. “They are not losing many games, and we couldn’t bunch our hits together. Playing teams like this will make us better down the road.”
    Brnca led the offense going 2-for-3 on the day, while Justin Dabulskis, Luke Rogers and Danny Philips also recorded hits.
    On the mound, Hutchings suffered his first loss of the season, moving his record to 1-1.
    He put in three innings of work, surrendering three earned runs off five hits. He struck out four.
    Brnca came on for two innings, giving up one unearned run off one hit, and walking one.
    Brendan Nevin closed out the game with one inning, giving up three runs (two earned), walking four and striking out one.
Coal City 7,
Clifton Central 1

    The Coalers hosted Clifton Central last week, where they picked up their third win in a row, defeating the Comets by six runs.
    Harseim was dominant in  four innings of work, striking out 10 batters faced and allowing just one hit and no walks.
    Nevin (three strikeouts), Austin Mellen (two K’s) and Micetich (1 K) all pitched one inning each in relief.
    “We have thrown 12 different pitchers in four games, and they are all doing a great job of coming in and throwing strikes,” McDowell said. “Our defense has also been superb the last three games.”
    Dean Moir led the offense with a single and a double, while other hitters included Harseim, Micetich, Dabulskis and Cody Elrod. Dabulskis and Elrod each added a double.