Bay City, MI:
The Nouvel CC baseball team opened the 2018 season with a 'signature sweep' winning both games of a double-header (2-1, and 6-4) on the road against the 2017 MHSAA Div-2 runner-up, Bay City John Glenn, who are currently ranked No. 4 in the MHSAA Div-2 pre-season rankings.
In the first game, John Glenn sophomore Rory O'Hare reached base on an error to lead off the game and advanced to second base with 2-outs, before Glenn junior Cody Higgins roped a single to center field, as O'Hare took off at the crack of the bat with a chance to score, however, Nouvel senior center fielder Kenny Kujawa played the ball perfectly on one-hop, came up throwing, and gunned O'hare at the plate with a laser to NCC catcher Sean Nowosatka, who made the tag for the third out of the inning.
Nouvel senior pitcher Tate Hausbeck led off the top of the sixth with a walk, then moved to second on a single by fellow senior Nick Fleming, before Hausbeck scored when a Glenn third baseman misplayed a hard hit ground ball off the bat of Nouvel sophomore Justin Osmond to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning.
NCC junior shortstop Jacob Burr led off the top of the seventh with a single, before Hausbeck drove in Burr with an RBI-single to extend the Panthers lead to 2-0 through 7-1/2 innings.
The Bobcats managed to get 1-run in the bottom of the seventh when sophomore Blake Waibel led off the inning with a walk, before he was driven in on an RBI-single off the bat of freshman Troy Porter to cut the Nouvel lead to 2-1, however, Hausbeck was able to go the distance and get the final out for the victory.
Fleming was 2 for 3 with a run scored, while Hausbeck was 1 for 1 with an RBI, 1-run scored, and 3-walks to lead the Panthers offense in the first game.
Hausbeck gave up 1-run on 3-hits and 1-walk, while striking out 6-batters through a full 7-innings to earn the win for the Panthers in game-1.
In the second game, John Glenn jumped out to an early lead when sophomore Ben Cnudde ripped a 2-RBI double for a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, before Cnudde followed up with yet another 2-RBI double for a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Panthers answered with a big top of the fifth inning when senior Diego Olvera, Kujawa, Nowosatka, Hausbeck (scoring Olvera), and Fleming (scoring Kujawa) led off with five straight walks, before junior Joe Bartels ripped a 2-RBI single to score Nowosatka and Hausbeck, which was followed by a 2-RBI single by Osmond, scoring Fleming and Bartels for a 6-4 Nouvel lead after 5-1/2 innings.
Osmond was 1 for 3 with 2-RBI's and 1-walk, followed by Bartels, who was 1 for 4 with 2-RBI's, and 1-run scored while freshman Brady Alverson was 1 for 1 with a walk, and a sac bunt to lead the NCC offense in the second game. Hausbeck and Fleming added an RBI and 1-run scored apiece respectively, while Olvera, Kujawa, and Nowosatka each had 1-run scored apiece respectively as well.
Burr relieved Fleming in the bottom of the fifth to finish out the game for Nouvel, striking out the first four batters he faced (which included striking out the side in the bottom of the fifth) and striking out the first batter in the bottom of the sixth, before forcing the final two batters to fly out for the NCC victory.
*Before the fifth inning, the umpire had told both teams the sixth inning would be the final inning due to impending darkness.
John Glenn will welcome Augres Sims high school for a double-header at John Glenn high school starting at 4 pm tomorrow, while Nouvel CC prepares for the Freeland high school Tri-tournament Saturday morning at 10 am at Freeland high school in Freeland, MI.