ST. PAUL – Chanute Baseball took two games from St. Paul on Friday to up their win streak to four in a row. Chanute erupted in Game 1 with a 21-2 blowout and took Game 2 13-3.
In Game 1, Chanute registered 11 hits total with three players with two hits or more. Rhett Smith put up three hits with six RBIs, Caden Schwegman registered three hits with five RBIs, and Cohwen Wheeler produced two hits and three RBIs. Bryan Jackett hit once and brought in three RBIs; Keondre Gregory had a hit with two RBIs; Braxton Harding tallied a hit; Kaiden Barnett had two runs batted in; and first baseman Tevyn James had an RBI.
“We were up pretty big when I came up. My approach was just to put it in play somewhere, hope it gets down, really,” Wheeler said. “It feels great. It just feels good to be a part of the team and working with everyone.”
On the mound, Barnett struck out five, walked one and allowed two earned runs in three innings. Relieving Barnett was Harding, who gave up two hits and Wheeler didn’t give up any hits, shutting the door.
In both games, Chanute took advantage of baserunners advancing to scoring position without the threat of St. Paul throwing to second base on attempted steals. That led to 10 runs scored by Chanute in the first inning, six runs each in the second and third innings, and 22 RBIs altogether.
“We actually came out and hit the ball, and once we came out and hit the ball and jumped on top, it was pretty well-handled from there. We jumped out, got a good approach at the plate, hitting the ball and we stuck it,” Chanute Baseball coach Jeremy Wheeler said.
St. Paul right fielder Tanner Smith had the lone hit for his squad. Pitchers Payton Norris, Jacob Combs and Ethan Bennett gave up 20 earned runs combined.
“I feel like we are coming around. Our defense is getting really solid, back to where we were last year,” Chanute Baseball assistant coach Hunter Friederich said.
“We’re just coming around as a team and playing as a team and not being selfish and playing like one man. I’m glad we are all coming back and playing as a team, because that’s what we did last year.”
Chanute (6-4) put up 12 runs on five hits in Game 2, with half of those runs coming in the first inning.
Harding, Barnett and Smith all had a hit and an RBI. Jackett and James both had a hit apiece. Schwegman and Gregory had runs batted in.
Atwood had four strikeouts and allowed just one walk in three innings pitched, while Jackett struck out one and walked three in an inning and Wheeler struck out two in an inning to close the deal.
Barnett, who had a triple in the game, said he felt comfortable at the plate.
“(I) was looking for low and inside or just mid and inside (and that) is definitely my money pitch, but the field’s pretty tiny – I think all of us were trying to hit it out today,” Barnett said.
Smith was also one of those players trying to hit it out. In the top of the third, Smith put solid metal on a ball that went as deep as the left field fence, but it was caught on a tough play by left fielder Combs. Smith’s teammates, meanwhile, shouted “get in the weight room” after the out was recorded.
“It felt pretty good. I barreled it up, I thought the wind was going to take it, but the left fielder just jumped up and caught it on the warning track,” Smith said. “I think it was just a great play in the outfield. I don’t know how he saw it with all these lights.”
The lone hit for winless St. Paul was from Broc Scales. He was also the starter on the mound, striking out three, walking seven and allowing four earned runs and five hits in three innings.
“I took over as St. Paul High School head coach last year,” St. Paul coach Broc Mattox said. “I’m trying to develop these kids. A lot of them didn’t know the basics or even terminology of baseball. It has been frustrating, but I hope to see us turn the corner soon. The kids are very coachable, but they are still developing.”
Chanute played at Garnett Monday and will return home for a rematch Thursday.