By Mark Ruschau
COLDWATER — Pitching and big offensive innings were the story as the Bath Wildcats and the Coldwater Cavaliers split a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Veterans Field.
In the first game, Coldwater’s Steve Wenning pitched a complete game to lead the Cavaliers to a 7-2 win. In game two, Bath’s Josh Bailey pitched a complete game five-hitter as the Wildcats gained the split by the score of 7-1.
Coldwater ends the day with an 8-2 record while Bath went home with a 6-3 mark.
The story of game one, was Coldwater senior righthander Steve Wenning who allowed seven hits and two runs in garnering the complete-game win.
Mere numbers on a linescore tell the story of Wenning’s afternoon. In the first three innings, Wenning allowed six hits and three walks but allowed just two runs as Bath had a runner thrown out at third base, another thrown out at the plate and they also grounded into a double play.
After the third frame, Wenning gave up just one hit and two walks.
“Steve had a little trouble early, they have good hitters and Steve had to battle, but he came back and pitched like the senior leader he is,” said Coldwater coach Brian Harlamert. “We got a lead for him and he started to cruise, he threw hard and around the plate. It was very important for Steve to get that first game win for us.”
With the game tied at two apiece, the Cavaliers took advantage of some wildness on the part of Bath pitcher Kyle Mason to score three times to take the lead for good.
Mason hit Brent Schwieterman and walked Matt Howell to start the inning. Troy Siefring then laid down a bunt that Mason fielded and threw errantly down the rightfield line, allowing Schwieterman to score and Howell and Siefring to move up an additional base. Ryan Gerlach then came up with the big hit of the inning to make the score 5-2.
Coldwater then sealed the game scoring twice in the fifth. Dusty Ahrens singled to start the inning, he stole second and scored on a single by Tyler Schwieterman. Schwieterman stole second and scored when Mason committed another throwing error, allowing Schwieterman to score.
As Wenning was the story of game one, Bailey was the star of game two both on the mound and at the plate.
Bailey handcuffed the Cavaliers on just five hits walking three and striking out 11. Bailey was constantly able to dig himself out of trouble as he stranded eight Cavalier baserunners, including six in scoring position.
Bath jumped on Coldwater starter Craig Koesters for four runs in the fourth taking command of the game. Trailing 1-0, Nick Sanchez singled, Richy Herr doubled and Ryan Reindel walked to load the bases. Bob Deppe hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score and then Bailey took Koesters second pitch over the fence in leftfield to make the score 4-1.
Bath added its final three runs in the seventh with the big blows being an RBI single by Bailey and two RBI single by Adam Ford.
“Josh Bailey is a great pitcher,” said Harlamert. “He threw strikes and he got ahead and pitched well. He also had a couple of hits, including a home run. The story of the second game was Josh Bailey.
“We played hard today and got a split against a good team. We are 8-2 in our first 10 games and we’ll take that.”
Coldwater returns to action Monday at home against Lima Senior.