The Craftsman Union Capahas began a six-game weekend homestand in resounding fashion Friday night.
With Matt Stroup and Nathan Baker both pitching two-hitters, the Capahas captured a lopsided doubleheader from the visiting Saline County (Ill.) Monarchs, winning 7-1 and 11-1 at Capaha Field. The second game ended in the bottom of the fifth inning by way of the 10-run rule.
The Capahas improved to 19-1 and the Monarchs fell to 7-9. Craftsman Union plays Springfield (Ill.) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader today and Evansville (Ind.) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader Sunday.
"It's a good way to start the weekend," Capahas manager Jess Bolen said. "Our pitching was very good tonight."
Stroup (4-0) dominated in the opener, allowing a single to the game's first batter and a double in the sixth inning. The right-hander struck out nine and did not issue a walk. The only run off Stroup was unearned.
Baker (2-0) was just about as impressive in the second game as he gave up a single to the second batter and a triple in the fourth. Baker struck out eight and walked one. The only run he allowed was also unearned.
"I thought Matt and Nathan were both very sharp," Bolen said.
The Capahas finished the doubleheader with 15 hits, eight coming in the opener. Steve Kress had two hits and drove in three runs in the first game, with Jon Payne also delivering two hits. Lance Seasor added two RBIs.
Saline County scored its lone first-game run in the opening inning, but the Capahas went ahead for good with a two-run third and never looked back. They closed out the scoring with a five-run fourth.
In the second game, the Capahas scored a run in the opening inning and steadily added to the lead. Ahead 9-1, they ended the contest by plating two in the fifth.
Gary Gilbert had two hits and drove in three runs with a bases-loaded triple. Payne finished off a strong night by adding two hits, making him 4-for-5 in the doubleheader. Tom Bolen drove in two second-game runs. Kress finished the evening with three hits.
Chad McCann took the first-game loss for the Monarchs. In six innings, he allowed seven runs (five earned) and seven hits, with five strikeouts and one walk.
Eric Milligan suffered the defeat in the second game after he and reliever Larry Bozic combined to walk 11 batters.
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