Coalers pick up first conference win, defeat Herscher in comeback

Brent Sumner
Staff Writer

    The Coal City varsity baseball team picked up a big conference win Friday with comeback win over visiting Herscher, 4-3.
    Herscher grabbed a one-run lead in the third inning, and built a 3-0 advantage in the sixth.
    Coal City (7-4 overall, 1-0 conference) had managed just one hit heading into the sixth frame, but that all changed.
    Facing a three-run deficit and one out, the Coalers recorded hits from Blake Harseim, Jake Brnca (double), Austin Friddle, Payton Hutchings and Zack Nolan.
    Harseim and Hutchings both picked up RBIs, and Nolan wound up pushing across the tying run with a single.
    Sean Micetich came up big with a sacrifice fly, which pushed across the game- winning run.
    “This was a great game to be a part of today,” said McDowell. “Our defense and pitching remain top notch, and we came alive with the bats when we had to. This is a huge conference opener win over a quality program.”
    On the mound, Blake Harseim picked up the win with six innings of work. He alled three earned runs off six hits, walked three and struck out six. He imrpoves his pitching record to 2-0 on the season.
    Keegan Gagliardo earned the save, as he pitched one inning in relief. He let up no hits or runs during his outing.
    Coal City was scheduled to face Sandwich on Monday at home, but the game was canceled. The game was rescheduled for Wednesday, when the Coalers host the Indians.
Coal City 6,
Joliet West 1

    The Coalers bounced back from their loss to JCA, as they defeated Joliet West on Thursday by five runs.
    “We played a good game all around today,” said McDowell. “We got some key, two-out hits, and Justin Dabulskis pitched a nice game pitching to contact. Austin Friddle had a big hit early for us.”
    Friddle got the offense going with a two-run double in the first inning to give the Coalers a 2-0 lead. He would finish the game with three RBIs.
    The Coalers added two runs in the fifth, one in the sixth, and one more in the seventh, while Joliet could only respond with one run in the fifth.
    Brnca and Harseim both recorded two runs each, while Gagliardo also added a hit.
    Justin Dabulskis recorded the win on the mound, extending his record to 2-0 on the season.
    He hurled six innings, letting up just one earned run off four hits, walked two and struck out two.
    Gagliardo threw the final inning striking out three while letting up no hits or runs.
JCA 5, CC 1
    The Coalers took on Joliet Catholic Academy last week, and even though they outhit the opposition, they were unable to push across some much needed runs.
    Coal City earned four hits in the game to Joliet’s three, as Copes, Brnca, Harseim and Gagliardo each picked up a hit.
    Unfortunately, the Coalers were only able to push one run across in the seventh inning, as they lost by four runs.
    “Our defense and pitching have been great, but our bats are anemic right now,” said McDowell. “Our pitch selection has to get better against quality teams like we are playing.”
    Hutchings wound up receiving the loss on the mound, putting in three innings of work.
    He surrendered three runs (two earned) off one hit, walked four and struck out four.
    Micetich threw the remainder of the game, giving up two earned runs off two hits, walking three and striking out one.