LINCOLN-The Alcona baseball team picked up two big wins at their home invitational on Saturday, beating Hale 16-1 and then Ubly 13-6 in the championship game to pick up their first Alcona invitational championship win since it's initiation five years ago.
"We've been holding this event ever since Dan (O'Connor, Alcona athletic director) came. He helped bring in some of the teams, including Ubly. They're a pretty good team and they always give us good competition every year," Alcona head coach Terry Franklin said.
The championship game was a back-and-forth hitting fest for the first few innings. Alcona scored in the top of the first after Cody Franklin hit a double and got to home on a passed ball. Ubly answered back in the bottom with two runs of their own.
News photo by Eric?Benac
Alcona’s baseball team after their victory on Saturday.
Ubly then went up 3-1 in the second after Zach Priemer walked and was then driven in by Jeff Wright. The Ubly batters were hot in the second inning and they kept finding the pitches of Nathan Fettes.
If the Alcona boys were nervous about the two run lead, they didn't show it in the top of the third. They picked up four runs to go up 5-3. Scoring runners included Austin Cole, Franklin, Jared Steiner and Joe Hudgins. The highlight of a scoring run was a two run homer by Franklin.
Ubly answered back in the bottom of the third with three runs of their own to go up 6-5. All runs came off of hits, but if Fettes or coach Franklin were nervous they kept it to themselves.
Two more runs in the top of the fourth gave Alcona a 7-5 lead. They never fell behind again. Cole scored again as did Franklin after hitting a double.
The next few innings saw Fettes and Ubly pitcher Cole Roggenbuck calming down and throwing better pitches. Fettes struck out four while Robbenbuck struck out two.
"He (Fettes) started throwing a lot better, got a lot more control on his pitches (in the fourth). He did a really good job today. Everybody did," coach Franklin said.
Alcona then picked up three runs in the top of the sixth to open the game up. They picked up three runs in the inning, including a triple by Carston Jamieson.
They scored three more in the seventh after Fettes went 1-2-3 in the sixth. Ubly relief pitcher Tyler Dropiewski dropped the first two batters but then gave up two walks, hit a batter and two singles.
Franklin came in to relieve Fettes in the seventh and gave up one run but it was too late for Ubly as Alcona took the championship 13-6.
Hudgins was the winning pitcher in the first game, giving up only one hit and striking out two. He also picked up a single and a triple. Franklin went 3-for-4 at bat while Jamieson picked up a double. Both Steiner and Fettes picked up a hit.
Alcona is now 16-5 overall and 7-1 in the Huron Shores conference. They play Monday in Standish and host Tawas on Monday in a big conference game, a game which may help decide the Huron Shores title holder.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.