Capahas baseball team pulls out pair

Monday, June 11, 2012
Capahas catcher Mark Hagedorn, right, who was serving as the first base coach, fist bumps Logan Bartels after Bartels' RBI single during the third inning of Sunday's second game against the Raging Bulls at Capaha Field. See more photos from the game at semoball.com. (Laura Simon)

Logan Bartels felt bad about failing to sacrifice in a crucial situation Sunday.

Bartels helped make up for it with a key stolen base, and he scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Plaza Tire Capahas squeezed out a 2-1 win over the visiting St. Louis Raging Bulls to complete a doubleheader sweep after they took the opener 3-2.

"I thought they were two real good games," said Capahas manager Jess Bolen, whose squad improved to 9-1.

The Capahas finished a 5-0 weekend homestand. While their offense was sporadic, their pitching and defense sparkled. The Capahas allowed just five runs in the five games.

Raging Bulls baserunner J.P. Valentini slides safely into second in front of Capahas second baseman Dylan Drury during the third inning of Sunday's second game. (Laura Simon)

"Don't expect us to blow people away," Bolen said. "Every once in a while we might, but we don't have that type of team."

One of Bolen's younger clubs in quite some time does not feature an abundance of heavy hitters, at least not at this point in the season.

But many of the Capahas' 15 first-year players have been making solid contributions, and that trend continued Sunday.

Bartels and Joe Campbell, two of the Capahas' younger rookies, combined for Sunday's walk-off victory in the nightcap.

Bartels, who accounted for the Capahas' first run on an RBI single in the third inning, tried to sacrifice in the bottom of the seventh with the teams tied 1-1.

Capahas catcher Mark Hagedorn catches a foul ball during the third inning of Sunday's first game.

Rookie Adam Blum was hit by a pitch leading off. Bartels' bunt was a bit too hard, and the Bulls' third baseman turned it into a force out at second base. Bartels then stole second.

"Coach gave me the steal sign, and I was trying to get the best jump I could," Bartels said.

Campbell followed with a solid single to center field, which allowed Bartels to score easily to end the contest.

"It felt good," Campbell said about his first game-winning hit for the Capahas. "It was a full count and I thought he'd come with a fastball. I tried to barrel it up and hit it back up the middle."

Bartels, who also drove in a run during the first game with a sacrifice fly, is a 2011 Jackson High School graduate. He has been a student at Southeast Missouri State but did not play baseball this year.

"I kind of missed it, and I just wanted to get a second chance at it," said Bartels, who made the Capahas' roster during preseason tryouts.

Bartels, who said he still might try college baseball somewhere down the line, has played various infield positions for the Capahas. The majority of his action has come at second base.

"I love it," Bartels said about playing for the Capahas. "I'm trying to do my job, what coach tells me to do."

Campbell, a native of Campbell, Mo., who recently completed his freshman baseball season at Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Mo., feels the same way.

"It's been a lot of fun so far," said Campbell, an outfielder. "Coach Bolen is a good guy to play for."

Bolen has been pleasantly surprised by what many of his new players have done so far.

"I keep plugging in different guys in different spots and they're playing pretty decent," Bolen said.

Zack Smith, a left-hander who recently completed his first season at Southeast after transferring from junior college, made his Capahas' debut in the nightcap.

Smith allowed one hit over five shutout innings. He struck out eight and walked four.

"He looked good," Bolen said.

Rookies Kyle Marshall and Tanner Hiett combined for a scoreless sixth inning before the Bulls (6-18) scored the tying run in the seventh inning off veteran Jordan Kimball.

Kimball was awarded the victory when the Capahas answered in the bottom of the seventh.

The opener also went down to the wire, although the Capahas led all the way after scoring two runs in the first inning. Kimball had an RBI double and returning player Dylan Drury added an RBI ground out.

Bartels' sacrifice fly in the third inning made it 3-0, but the Capahas had to hold on.

The Bulls scored a run in the fourth inning and cut the deficit to 3-2 in the seventh. They had the tying run on third base with one out.

Hiett, a Capahas rookie and a 2010 Notre Dame Regional High School graduate, got a ground ball to third and a strikeout to strand the runner at third and notch his first save.

"He came in and did a really good job," Bolen said.

Rookie Colton Young, also a 2010 Notre Dame Regional High School graduate, allowed one run and three hits over the first five innings in his second start. He struck out three and walked one.

"I thought he threw the ball well," Bolen said. "We got good pitching all weekend."

The Capahas had six hits in each game and outhit the Bulls 12-10 on the day. Veteran Sean Bard went 2 for 2 in the opener and finished the day with three hits. The Capahas, who have played nine of their first 10 games at home, visit Fairview Heights, Ill., at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Perryville at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Game 1

Bulls0001001--271
Capahas201000x--360

WP -- Colton Young. LP -- Will Rogers. S -- Tanner Hiett. 2B -- Drew Franklin (B), Don Walls (B), Jordan Kimball (C). Multiple hits -- Bulls: Lincoln Nelson 2-3, Steve Grigitus 2-3. Capahas: Sean Bard 2-2. Records -- Capahas 8-1, Bulls 6-17.


Game 2

Bulls0000001--131
Capahas0010001--261

WP -- Jordan Kimball. LP -- Ryan Willis. Multiple hits -- Bulls: Adam Lampel 3-4. Records -- Capahas 9-1, Bulls 6-18.

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