The Chewelah Cougars opened their league baseball season last Saturday with twin wins over Kettle Falls in a doubleheader that was delayed for two hours because of a frosty field.
The Cougars scored four runs in the third inning and added two more runs later in the game to defeat the visiting Bulldogs by a 6-2 score in the opener. Then, in the second game, Chewelah brought home 12 baserunners in the first four innings to win 12-2 by the 10-run rule.
After two and a half scoreless innings, Chewelah scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead. Andrew Hansen made it to first base on a bunt back to the mound that the Bulldog pitcher overthrew to first base. Derek Smith singled down the third baseline and Ty Curtis was given an intentional base on balls to load the bases.
Hansen scored the first Cougar run, sprinting across home plate on a pitch that got past the Kettle Falls catcher, and the other two baserunners advanced. Dustin Olson again loaded the bases after being walked, and Caleb Wiebe hit a triple down the line into the right-field corner to bring them all home.
So, after three innings of play, Chewelah had a 4-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Kyle Connall hit a leadoff single past the Bulldog second-baseman. He was bunted over to second base by Dustin Crowell and Derek Smith’s infield hit to third base brought him home. The run gave Chewelah a 5-1 lead.
Connall scored the final Cougar run in the bottom of the sixth inning. He was given a base on balls, moved over to third base on a Kettle Falls throwing error, and then came home on a squeeze bunt by Crowell for the 6-2 league win.
Wiebe threw all seven innings for Chewelah, allowing only three hits, for his second pitching win of the season. He finished the game with eight strikeouts.
The Cougars had only five hits, but they all counted. Derek Smith had two singles and scored two runs. Connall and Hansen both singled and scored. Wiebe’s bases loaded triple was the only extra-base hit of the game, batting in three runs.
Carson Coleman took over on the mound where Wiebe left off, throwing the second complete game of the day for Chewelah. Although the game went only five innings, Coleman allowed just two runs in notching his first pitching victory of the new season. His teammates supported him with a dozen hits and a dozen runs, which shortened the game by two innings.
The Cougars put three runs on the scoreboard in the first inning. Derek Smith was walked and scored the first run of the game on a triple by Curtis. Brandon Smith’s single brought Curtis home. Another single by Wiebe moved Smith over to third base, and he scored on a wild pitch for a 3-0 Chewelah lead.
Six singles produced seven runs in the third inning as the Cougars batted through their entire lineup. Hits came off the bats of Olson, Wiebe, Crowell, Hansen, Curtis, and Derek Smith. The seven-run rally widened the Chewelah lead to 10-1 after three innings.
The last two Cougar runs came in the fourth inning. Coleman and Cordell Bean were both walked and later they each scored on a pitch that got past the Kettle Falls catcher. The two runs gave Chewelah a 12-2 lead.
When the Bulldogs did not score in the top of the fifth inning, the game ended on the 10-run rule. The win completed a doubleheader sweep by Chewelah.
Coleman threw all five innings, striking out two Bulldog batters and allowing only one earned run.
The Cougars swatted 11 hits, including two each by Wiebe, Curtis, Hansen, and Brandon Smith. The triple by Curtis was the lone extra-base hit of the game.
Chewelah will get to see what more of the league competition looks like this week. The Cougars drove to Lakeside for a single game on Tuesday. They returned home to host Newport on Wednesday. Next, on Thursday, they go on the road again to Colfax for a non-league game. Then, on Saturday, they go to Riverside for a doubleheader, beginning at 11:00.
Chewelah currently shares the league lead with Medical Lake. Both teams are 2-0.
Chewelah 6, KF 2
Cougars: 0 0 4 1 0 1 x = 6 5 1
Bulldogs: 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 = 2 3 2
Cougar pitching: Caleb Wiebe and Cordell Bean. Win – Wiebe (2-0).
Cougar hitting: Derek Smith 2, Caleb Wiebe, Kyle Connall, Andrew Hansen. 3B – Wiebe
Chewelah 12, KF 2
Cougars: 3 0 7 2 x = 12 11 2
Bulldogs: 1 0 0 1 0 = 2 7 4
Cougar pitching: Carson Coleman and Cordell Bean. Win-Coleman (1-0).
Cougar hitting: Caleb Wiebe 2, Ty Curtis 2, Brandon Smith 2, Andrew Hansen 2, Dustin Crowell, Derek Smith, Dustin Olson. 3B – Curtis.
Chewelah 2 – 0
Medical Lake 2 – 0
Freeman 0 – 0
Lakeside 0 – 0
Riverside 0 – 0
Newport 0 – 2
Kettle Falls 0 – 2
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: Caleb Wiebe pitches against Kettle Falls while Dustin Olson covers third base. Mickey Olson photo