Redskins add a handful of wins to season record

By: 
Butch Hindenach, pawtwice@bloomingdalecom.net
 Paw Paw’s Jimmy Wressel, right, dives head-first, but safely into second base before the Edwardsburg shortstop can snag the ball. Hot Shotz Photography/Matthew Day

   PAW PAW - A combination of timely hitting and quality pitching got the Redskin baseball team back on track last Wednesday as they swept a twin bill from Benton Harbor, 15-3 and 2-0.
   In the opener, Hunter Shreve cashed in a run in the second inning to stake Paw Paw a 3-2 lead, and then a 10-run fourth inning explosion put the game away early.
   Among the offensive highlights of the big inning were  base hits from Zack Callahan, Jack Westerhoff, Shreve, Tyler Pursley, a walk by Taylor VanderVeen, and a big three-base hit by Tyler Foote. The Redskins also used their speed with seven bases stolen with Jimmy Wressel, Will Downard, and Pursley each claiming two. Pursley took the win with two innings of work with three strikeouts.
   The second game was a completely different game, with good pitching on both sides. Kyle Downard pitched three innings for the victory, allowing 0 runs and no walks, and retiring six Tigers by strikeouts. Will Downard and Caleb Schmitt shared the shutout with Schmitt picking up a save. The ’Skins managed only a pair of hits by Pursley and Callahan, but made them count to complete the sweep. 
•••
   PAW PAW - Baseball seasons are long and often unpredictable even at the high school level, and the Paw Paw team experienced some of this over its last four games. After flexing their muscles with a total of 31 runs in a pair of non-conference winning  encounters, the team came back to earth against league nemesis Edwardsburg in their first two Wolverine Conference contests of the season Friday. 
   It would be hard to point a finger at one facet of the team as responsible for the 9-0 and 9-2 defeats by the Eddies, for it appears that the offense, (five hits all singles and two runs total in the doubleheader), the defense, (eight unearned runs allowed on eight errors), and the pitching (15 hits, and 10 walks), all could claim part of the blame for this dip in the road.
   Just facing the Eddies has not often been pleasant for the Redskins, for after Paw Paw won the first meeting in baseball between the two schools, the Eddies have now won eight in a row, most of them by comfortable scores.  
   Will Downard collected two hits for the home team with Caleb Schmitt, Tyler Foote, and Jimmy Wressel each hitting safely one time. Jack Westerhoff and Corey Curtis were responsible for the two runs chased across the plate for the day, and Will Downard and Kyle Downard each were charged with a loss on the mound.
•••
   At Three Oaks last Wednesday, Redskin bats were on fire, and Paw Paw took a 20-4 verdict from River Valley. 
   Things started well for the Redskins with a four-run first inning, and continued until 11 runs in the seventh put the game entirely out of reach. The ’Skins collected 12 hits and swiped six bases, and once again showed their patience at the plate gathering a total of 11 free passes from the Mustangs’ pitchers. 
   Jack Westerhoff started out on the mound for the Tribe and picked up the win with four solid innings allowing two runs while striking out four Mustangs. Tyler Frank finished the game with three strong frames of relief pitching. 
   Tyler Pursley went three for five at bat with three runs scored  for Paw Paw. Tyler Foote added two hits and a pair of runs batted in, and Westerhoff had time to  collect a pair of safeties while driving two runs over the plate. Zack Callahan added a hit, three bases on balls, and four runners plated in a successful game, while Hunter Shreve, Kyle Downard, Jimmy Wressel and Taylor Vanderveen each put a hit in the scorebook.

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