COEUR d’ALENE — Starting fast has been a key for Coeur d’Alene’s baseball team so far in 2019.
And it was no different when it opened 5A Inland Empire League play on Friday afternoon.
Coeur d’Alene scored a combined eight runs in the first inning of a doubleheader at rival Lake City, sweeping the Timberwolves 10-2 and 18-4 in the first league games of the season.
Quinton Bunch had a two-run single in the first inning of the second game, and finished with three RBIs on the day.
“One thing our guys have taken on is getting off the bus ready to play,” Coeur d’Alene coach Nick Mahin said. “We’ve got offensive jobs that we like to go after, and one of them is scoring first. The other is having a big inning, and they don’t just score first, but like to get both jobs done in the first inning. When you do that, it allows your defense to play in the way it is capable of playing and allows your pitchers to feel more comfortable pounding the zone.”
Coeur d’Alene stretched the advantage to 13-2 after two innings in the second game, taking advantage of three Lake City errors and three walks in the frame.
“That inning got away from us,” Lake City coach Paul Manzardo said. “It was a combination of walks, errors and hit batsmen. Unfortunately, we probably played our worst defensive game — actually two bad games — but it’s early in the year. We’ve got to continue to get better, work, practice and improve as a group. I think they’ll get better and they’re all competitors. We’ve got some young guys in key spots, and when they get used to the speed, I think we’ll be fine.”
Coeur d’Alene (8-1) is scheduled to host Asotin on Monday before resuming league play on Tuesday with Lewiston visiting for a doubleheader.
“If we go about our business every day, and we get beat, we learn and get better the next day,” Mahin said. “This is a crazy league, and it never starts how it finishes. Our goal is to continuously to get better. If we do that, we can do some special things.”
Lake City (3-5) travels to Post Falls for a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Timberwolves committed 13 errors in Friday’s games.
In the first game, Carter Friesz drove in five runs for Coeur d’Alene, including a two-run home run in the fifth inning. Bennett Cunningham had four hits, including a triple in the first game for Lake City.
Coeur d’Alene 300 160 0 — 10 10 2
Lake City 001 010 0 — 2 8 6
Zach Mackimmie, Landen Thompson (6) and Carter Friesz; Brock Sween, Ryan Rios (5), Alex Feek (6) and Conner Conigliaro. W — Mackimmie. L — Sween.
HITS: Cd’A — Brown, Chatfield, Mayfield, Bunch, Friesz 2, Davenport 2, Karns 2. LC — Cunningham 4, Rinaldi, Schuelke, Brum, Childers. 2B — Bunch, Davenport, Karns, Friesz, Cunningham, Schuelke. 3B — Cunningham. HR — Friesz.
Coeur d’Alene 584 01 — 18 12 1
Lake City 200 20 — 4 8 7
Game called after 5 innings due to 10-run rule.
Cody Davenport and Carter Friesz, Trent Elstad (4); Cooper Grohs, Landon Vergeer (1), Alex Feek (2), Ryan Rios (3), Dylan Brum (4) and Connor Conigliaro, Jackson Scherr (4). W — Davenport. L — Grohs.
HITS: Cd’A — Brown 2, Chatfield, Mayfield 2, Bunch 2, Friesz, Johnson, Walker, Rowley, Karns. LC — Cunningham, Rinaldi, Conigliaro 2, Reid, Scherr 2, Childers. 2B — Johnson, Bunch 2, Karns.