The road to the Great Northern League postseason continues to be a rocky one for the Cheney High baseball team, who went 0-3 in league play last week, bringing their losing streak to four games.
The Blackhawks lost to first-place Clarkston (9-1 GNL, 10-1 overall), 8-2, April 19, then dropped both games of an April 22 doubleheader to second-place West Valley (5-6, 9-6), losing 4-2 in the opener and 3-1 in game two. Cheney (5-8, 7-10) is currently fourth in the GNL standings, one half game behind East Valley (5-7, 7-11).
Clarkston took an early lead with three runs in the first inning. After the Blackhawks scored a run in the bottom of the first, the Bantams boosted their lead with runs in the second, third, fifth (two) and sixth innings. Cheney scored their final run in the seventh.
“Clarkston pretty much handed it to us, they hit the ball really well,” head coach Mike Cagle said. “We can’t seem to get that one hit to get us going. The kids have been working hard and the effort is there.”
Riley Jones and Chance Gleave both had two hits and one double each. Cameron Wiseman added one hit.
Gleave (2-2) took the loss on the mound after he shared pitching duties with Jackson Shaw.
In game one against West Valley, Cheney scored two runs in the sixth inning to take a 2-1 lead. The Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win.
Gleave had two hits while Jones, Wiseman and Andrew Witt added one each.
Dylan Arthur (1-1) took the loss on the mound after he threw a complete game.
“We made some good plays defensively, but offensively we just popped the ball in the air too much,” Cagle said.
In game two, Cheney scored their only run in the seventh inning after Shaw hit a single to bring in Gleave. Gleave had two doubles in the game.
“Chance has been hitting well against the better pitchers of the league, he does a pretty good job of driving the baseball,” Cagle said.
Jacob Lauber (0-1) took the loss in game two after he and Ty Graham, who took over in the fifth, threw a combined three-hitter.
“We brought Jacob up from JV and he threw a lot of strikes for us,” Cagle said. “We also played really good defense behind him.”
Cheney began their final round of GNL play with a road game against East Valley, April 26. They play their final two regular season home games against West Valley, May 3, and Pullman (4-6, 4-8), May 5.
“We’ve just got to work through this offensive funk,” Cagle said. “It’s a matter of us getting everything together at the right time. I’ll say this, I think we’ve earned our stripes. We’ve had some tough games.”