By Gary R. Rasberry
COLDWATER -- The Coldwater baseball team entered Friday's game in a position that is not often seen in the program: a 0-2 start to the season.
The Cavaliers looked to get back on track on Friday when Mississinawa Valley came to Veterans Field.
The return of a key hitter helped the cause as Coldwater picked up its first win with a 12-1 five-inning win over the Blackhawks, who go to 1-2 as well with the loss.
The Cavaliers picked up 12 hits on the day as they took advantage of four wild pitches and four errors by the Blackhawks.
A big asset in the batting order was senior Troy Siefring, who was making his first start of the season after being held out in rehabilitating from a torn ACL during the basketball season. Siefring, when healthy the best second baseman in the Grand Lake Area, worked as the designated hitter and got his bat going in the first inning, singling home Cory Klenke for the second run of the game. Siefring added a single in the second inning and rounded out his day at the plate with a long drive to deep center, hitting the 380-foot sign on the fence for a double. Siefring brought home two runs and scored two in this game before getting pulled for a pinch-hitter in the fourth inning.
"I think he might have seen four pitches and got three hits," said Coldwater coach Brian Harlamert of his senior. "He's such an agressive hitter and smart hitter. We need to have them in that spot to be that leader and drive the ball in. Him in the lineup makes us a better team. The guys are more relaxed."
Nearly every spot in the lineup got into offensive act for the Cavaliers. Brady Geier went 2-for-4 in the game, but reached base in all four plate appearances and scored four runs, the last on an inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning.
On the mound, Gaston Pleiman exorcised an offseason of concern after having a rough summer in ACME. After giving up a run and two hits in the first inning, the senior settled down and allowed just two walks in the remaining three innings of work striking out six batters total. Ryan Schwieterman worked a perfect fifth to close out the day.
"He didn't throw great, but he had to get the funk out of him," said Harlamert of Pleiman. "He had a rough summer. ... I think we realized we just have to go out and do it."
With the team back on track with the weekend off due to prom, Harlamert is not overly worried about the start.
"I told them we actually played 10 times better last night (a loss to Shawnee) than tonight and we still won," said Harlamert. "They seem more focused and we're glad we got the win ... We just have to do a better job of being focused on the field."
Coldwater returns to action on Monday, hosting LCC at Veterans Field.