By Betsy Barnett

2021-05-19 20:26:39

It was quite a successful week of baseball for the Eads Eagles as they grabbed two key conference wins over previously undefeated Cheyenne Wells in Eads on Friday in scores of 7-5 and 11-6.  They then welcomed Manzanola to town on Saturday and promptly ran the score to the mercy rule in four innings winning by the score of 15-0 with freshman Brentley Lening, in his first outing as a high school pitcher, going the distance.  Eads is now 5-0 on the early season.

Cheyenne Wells is a team well-known to Eads as many of the players on both teams have played together for years on summer ball travel teams.  The Tigers have added three Kit Carson players to their roster, as well, who have made a difference for the always tough Cheyenne Wells group under the tutelage of Myles Smith.

The Tigers would pounce on Eads from the get-go by scoring 4 runs in the top of the first inning.  Cade Mitchek in the one hole would blast a double to right field starting the momentum.  Evan Worley then came out and blasted another double to left field scoring Mitchek.  Brett Mayhan, in the three-hole, had an RBI to Worley off a single to shortstop.  With Mayhan on second the next batter striking out, Mayhan advanced to third on the play.  Alex Mitchek would then strike out leaving two outs on the field and Mayhan at third.  Cody Ryser would be hit by the pitch to put runners on the corners.  Paul Mitchek then hit a single that scored both Mayhan and Ryser before Mitchek would be caught trying to advance to second base.

Eads head coach Marcus Gilmore commented on the slow start for Eads, “In both Cheyenne Wells games we got down early.  First game we gave up five in the first and we had to chip away every inning to get back in it.  We stayed consistent in our at bats and getting guys on the bags then moving them around which allowed us to win the game.”

Eads would get one run back in their at-bat in the bottom of the first as Hatch Nelson started them off with a hard single to shortstop.  Porter Spady then came to the plate and laid down a sac bunt that moved Nelson to second base.  Spady’s speed got him aboard with no outs.  Only Cade McDowell could get the bat on the ball enough to bring in Nelson.

Eads did their final damage to Cheyenne Wells in the bottom of the third inning as the Tigers were leading 5-1 at that point.  The Eagles would explode for 5 runs grabbing the lead.  In that inning freshman Keenan Smith drew a walk and was moved to third base on a hard single by Nelson.  Spady hit a deep pop up for an out but it allowed Smith to tag up from third and score as Nelson advanced to third base.  Zack Fowler then hit a single to right field scoring Nelson.  McDowell grounded out for two outs but moved Fowler to third in the process.  Fowler scored on a Damien Barnes single past second base.  Joe Haase then moved the speedy Barnes around the bases on another line drive single past second base.  And in yet another replay, AJ Vasquez hit a screaming single out to right field scoring Haase. 

For the Tigers it would be Mayhan leading the way offensively going 3-for-3 with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI, and 2 stolen bases.  Paul Mitchek had 1 hit and 2RBIs, while Worley added one hit, a run, one RBI and a stolen base.

Ty Scheler took the loss for the Tigers going 3 innings and giving up 6 hits, 6 earned runs, and walking 3.  He would also strike out 3.  Ryser came in the bottom of the fourth inning and gave up one earned run in one inning of work.

Eads scattered 6 hits around the field with 2 hits coming from Nelson.  Nelson would also score 3 times from the one hole. 

Senior Brandon Lening went the distance for the Eagles working through five innings giving up 6 hits, 3 earned runs and walked just one batter.  The righty fanned 9 batters.

Gilmore liked what he saw from Lening on the mound, “Brandon had a good game for us on the mound which really gave us the time to rally a comeback.”

The second game with Cheyenne Wells was also a counter in the conference books.  Eads jumped out big scoring 8 runs in the bottom of the first after the Tigers managed a good start with 2 runs.  The Tigers then challenged the Eagles’ significant lead in the top of the fourth scoring four runs.  But after that inning, the Eads bullpen didn’t allow them another run. 

Gilmore, again, liked how his team competed, “In the second game we gave up two in the first inning, but we had a huge inning and we scored eight.  Zach started on the mound for us in that second game and Hatch closed it both doing what we needed done to get the win.  Again, we hit the ball decent and scored a few more runs before it was over but we also left too many guys on base.”

The Eagles left 12 runners aboard.

Cheyenne Wells managed 7 hits against the Fowler-Nelson bullpen with Cade Mitchek, Mayhan and Scheler each having two hits.  Scheler added 3 RBIs off of 2 doubles on the day.  One of Mitchek’s hits was a triple.

Three Tigers represented on the mound in the second game as sophomore Blake Gilmore started and lasted .2 innings giving up 3 hits and one earned run.  Ryser would then come in but the Eagles had already seen him in Game 1 and were on to his speed from the get-go.  The junior would give up 5 hits, 7 earned runs and 1 walk.  He would strike out 1 Eads batter.  Paul Mitchek then finished the rest of the game going 2.2 innings giving up 5 hits and 2 earned runs.  He walked 4 and struck out two.

For Eads Nelson particularly had a strong performance on the mound going 3.2 innings and only giving up 3 hits and 2 walks.  The senior gave up no earned runs and struck out 6 Tigers.

On Saturday in Eads Gilmore found himself an unassuming new pitcher in the form of freshman Brentley Lening who went the distance for Eads against Manzanola.  The rookie right-hander had supreme mastery of his pitches as he surrendered zero runs on one hit over four innings, striking out five and walking zero.

Gilmore was more than impressed with the littlest player in the bullpen, “The Manzanola game was a quick one.  Brentley did an awesome job for us on the mound throwing a shutout in his first outing in high school.  We were able to get up on them big and get our guys on the bench some at-bats and some playing time in the field as well.”

Eads collected ten hits against the Manzy pitcher.  Nelson and Smith each collected multiple hits for the Eagles.  The offensive onslaught by Eads was led by McDowell, Barnes, Donte Sierra, Spady, Fowler, and Vasquez.

Eads will now face some stiff competition as they travel to Holly on Tuesday.  The Wildcats have been a bit slow out of the gate at 2-2 but they have a very deep bullpen for this conference game. 

Gilmore is happy with the progress his group has made thus far, “Our defense and our pitching is improving by the week as well.  Getting better is all we can do and is what we need to be doing for our Tuesday game with Holly.”

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