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Caps remain unbeaten in impressive fashion
Craftsman Union breezes to 10-2 victory over Tradewater, Ky.
By Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian
Longtime Craftsman Union Capahas manager Jess Bolen is not normally one to sing his team's praises too much, particularly early in the season.
But even Bolen has been impressed with the Capahas' play so far as they are off to a 5-0 start following Friday night's surprisingly easy 10-2 win over Tradewater (Ky.) at Capaha Field.
"Two things have impressed me so far with this ballclub," Bolen said. "One, we're very tough with wood bats. Two, we've only got two errors in five games, and one was a throwing error."
Added a smiling Bolen, in his 37th season running Cape Girardeau's highest-level summer baseball team, "But we've still got a long way to go. I still really don't know what kind of team we're going to have."
Tradewater (3-2) gave the Capahas all they could handle last year and figured to do the same Friday, but Bolen's squad used timely hitting and wildness on the part of Tradewater pitcher John Shelton to win handily.
The Capahas had nine hits, led by Tom Bolen with a pair of doubles. Bolen drove in two runs. Scott Reinagel also had two RBIs.
Shelton, a left-hander, walked eight and hit a batter in seven innings. He allowed all 10 runs -- nine earned -- and all nine hits.
"They're a good team and those are the kind of lefties that usually eat us up," Tom Bolen said. "We're off to a good start and hopefully we can keep it going."
While Jess Bolen -- Tom's father -- has been impressed with the Capahas' ability to make solid contact with wood bats, Tom was the only Craftsman Union player who used an aluminum bat Friday. The Capahas swing with wood most of the season to prepare for the National Baseball Congress World Series, which only allows wood bats.
"I only had one hit before today, so I needed some hits and I figured I'd use aluminum," Tom Bolen said, smiling. "It felt good to get a couple of hits."
The Capahas received another strong pitching performance from right-hander Jason Chavez, who recently concluded his two-year career at Mineral Area College and is being recruited by several Division I programs.
Chavez (2-0) had a one-hit shutout through five innings and wound up allowing five hits and two runs -- one earned -- in seven innings. He struck out 10 and walked three.
"I felt like I was throwing pretty hard," Chavez said. "I felt good."
Jess Bolen concurred, saying, "I was impressed with Chavez."
Nathan Baker closed out the victory with two hitless innings. He struck out three and walked one.
The Capahas took advantage of Shelton's wildness as their first four runs crossed the plate by way of things other than hits.
In the second inning, Gary Gilbert scored on a wild pitch after getting a single. In the third, Gilbert drove in a run by being hit with a pitch and Dave Lawson added an RBI on a walk as the Capahas moved ahead 3-0.
Ricky Pecaut scored on a passed ball in the fourth to make it 4-0.
The Capahas broke things open in the fifth as Reinagal had a two-run single and Lance Seasor delivered an RBI double to make it 7-0.
"It was a good game for us," Jess Bolen said. "Tradewater has a good team and I expected a tough game but we're playing well."
Craftsman Union plays at home again today as the St. Louis Printers come to town for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The Capahas swept a lopsided doubleheader from the Printers last Sunday but the St. Louis squad was missing some of its top players and Jess Bolen expects things to be much tougher today.
"They've got a good ballclub when they've got all their players," he said.