Jon Selness slides at home plate with Micah Hunskor making the tag for Schaeffer Academy. Mabel-Canton won at home. LEE EPPS/NEWS-RECORD
Jon Selness slides at home plate with Micah Hunskor making the tag for Schaeffer Academy. Mabel-Canton won at home. LEE EPPS/NEWS-RECORD
The Cougars began play at St. Charles last Monday, losing to the Class AA Saints 11-7. It was the season opener for the young Cougars, with only three seniors, while the Saints improved to 5-1. M-C defeated the Lions of Schaeffer Academy the following afternoon, 8-3, then fell to the Houston Hurricanes on Friday, 14-7.

M-C at St. Charles, April 21

M-C 001 100 5 - 7 5 3

SC 310 133 x - 11 11 6

M-C never led, but trailed only 5-2 before St. Charles scored three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Facing their greatest deficit, the Cougars scored five runs (with only one hit) in the final seventh inning.

M-C touched winning pitcher Scott McCready for only five hits, all singles. Sophomore Bryce Michels batted two for three with a run batted in. Jon Selness went two for four, also with an RBI, plus a stolen base. Keyser Wenthold led off the game with a single. In the third, Michels scored the first Cougar run of the season with an RBI single from Selness.

The Cougars received some charity with seven walks and five St. Charles errors. But seven Saint runs were unearned aided by six Cougar errors.

Seven Saints were credited with base hits including four doubles. Harrison Roessler batted three-for-three, while Nathan Boice hit two-for-three with two doubles, batting in eighth position. Jericho Braun went three-for-five with two doubles.

St. Charles took an early 4-0 lead, but M-C closed the gap to 4-2 in the fourth inning. The Cougars would get no closer.

M-C opened the season with Wesley Richert on the mound, Noah Manning behind the plate, Collin O'Bieglo at first base, eighth grader Isaiah Nolte at second, Riley Marlow at short and Selness at third. Starting outfielders were freshman Weston Whalen, Keyser Wenthold and Michels.

St. Charles won the B team game, 5-1.

LOB: MC 9, SC 9

Stolen bases: MC 4, SC 0

Pitchers: MC

LP- Richert 6 IP, 11R (4 ER), 13H, 3K, 3W

Pitchers: SC

WP- McCready 6 IP, 5R (3 ER), 5K, 3W

Buck 1 IP, 0R, 0H, 1K, 1W

Extra-base hits: MC none, SC 4 doubles

Hits - MC: Michels 2-3, run, RBI,; Jon Selness 2-4, run, RBI, sb; Wenthold 1-4, run, sb; Manning run, sb; Whalen sb

Hits - SC: Roessler 3-3, run, RBI; Braun 3-5, 2 dbl, 2 runs; Boice 2-3, 2 dbl, 3 runs, RBI, sb; McCready 2-4, 2 RBI; Danielson 1-2, 3 RBI; Small 11-2; Buck 1-3, 2 runs, RBI

M-C at Schaeffer Academy, April 22

SA 000 000 3 - 3 8 4

M-C 001 016 x - 8 9 2

Tuesday's game was a 2-0 pitchers duel until the last at-bat for each team.

M-C scored once in the third inning and went up 2-0 in the fifth on Noah Manning's second run batted in, before exploding for six runs in the sixth.

The game had begun with Schaeffer Academy (SA) runners on second and third with no outs, but eventual winning pitcher Collin O'Bieglo retired the next three batters without a run scored.

The Lions did not threaten again until the sixth with runners on second and third with two outs. O'Bieglo got the third out with a fly ball as M-C clung to a 2-0 lead. After falling behind 8-0, the Lions finally scored in their last at-bat. After only four hits through the first six innings, SA added four hits as they scored all three runs (all unearned) after two were out in that final inning.

M-C finished with a narrow 9-8 margin in hits and committed two errors to four for the Lions. Three SA errors, along with four successive M-C hits figured into the Cougars' big inning.

The major statistical difference came with free passes. With seven strikeouts, O'Bieglo issued only one walk while SA pitchers contributed five walks and one hit batter. Three Cougar batters eventually scored after drawing a walk.

Seven Cougars had base hits. Noah Manning (2 RBI) and Bryce Michels (RBI) each hit two-for-three for M-C. Cougar freshman Weston Whalen belted a double and was robbed of another base hit with a diving catch by Gabe Kaufman in center field. Joe Vaughan had a two-bagger for the visitors and joined freshman teammate Micah Hunskor in hitting two-for-four.

M-C went to 1-1 and 1-0 in the conference while the Lions dropped to 1-3 (0-2 SEC). The Cougars had won the first 11 games versus SA before going only 2-6 during the last two seasons. M-C now leads the all-time series 14 to 6. The teams are scheduled to play three additional SEC games this season.

LOB: MC 8, SA 9

Stolen bases: MC 6, SA 1

Pitchers: MC

WP - O'Bieglo 7 IP, 3R (0 ER), 8H, 7K, 1W

Pitchers: SA

LP - Lahr 5 IP, 8R (5 ER), 9H, 1K, 5W, 1HB

Vaughn 1IP, 0R, 0H, 2K, 0W

Extra-base hits: MC 1 double, SA 1 double

Hits - MC: Manning 2-3. 2RBI, sb; Michels 2-3, run, RBI,; Nolte 1-2, 2 runs, sb; Wenthold 1-3, 2 runs, RBI 2 sb; Marlow 1-3, run, RBI; Selness 1-3, 2 sb; Whalen 1-4, dbl, run (Lee run, Richert sac)

Hits - SA: Hunskor 2-4, RBI, sb; Vaughn 2-4, dbl, run; Harper 1-3; Hershey 1-4, RBI; Kaufman 1-4, run; Fiek 1-4, run

M-C vs. Houston, April 25

Hou 351 050 0 - 14 16 3

M-C 420 001 0 - 7 11 6

The game started as a slug-fest with 14 of 21 runs and 15 of 27 hits coming in first two innings. Houston took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but M-C scored four in the bottom half.

The Hurricanes then scored five times in the second. The Cougars answered with two tallies, and Houston led 8-6 after two. The 'Canes added another run in the third and five more in the fifth to make it 14-6. M-C answered with a run in the sixth, but could get no closer.

The pitchers gained control before it was over. Houston starter Tyler Hoskins survived the early onslaught and went six innings, allowing only one run and three hits over his final four innings on the mound. Reliever Mason Drake faced only four batters in the Cougar seventh.

Reliever Wes Richert pitched the final five and two-thirds innings for M-C, striking out nine and walking none.

Cougar charity involved no walks but included six costly errors. The Hurricanes continued to hit the ball, but their last five runs were all unearned.

Houston banged out 16 hits, but only the first three Hurricane runs were scored without benefit of Cougar fielding miscues.

Eight players in the M-C batting order contributed to 11 hits, with two each from Tannor Fairchild (2 for 3), Jon Selness (2 for 4) and Keyser Wenthold (2 for 4).

Coming off the injured list, sophomore Fairchild was playing for the first time this season. He smacked a double in his first time at bat. Collin O'Bieglo and Weston Whalen also had two-baggers. The Cougars' first run came with an RBI triple from Selness.

The top two-thirds of the Houston batting order was explosive. Winning pitcher Hoskins was also the game's leading hitter going four-for-five while driving in three runs. Wesley Johnson, Christian Sires and Pete Jergenson each hit three-for-five.

Houston improved to 1-2 (1-1 SEC) while M-C left at 1-2 (1-1 SEC).

LOB: MC 7, Hou 8

Stolen bases: M-C 5, Hou 7

Pitchers: M-C

LP - Manning 1.1 IP, 6R (5 ER), 5H, 1K, 0W, 1HB

Richert 5.2 IP, 8R (0 ER), 11H, 9K, 0W

Pitchers: Hou

WP - T. Hoskins 6 IP, 7R (6 ER), 11H, 7K, 1W

Drake 1IP, 0R, 0H, 1W

Extra-base hits: MC triple, 3 doubles; Hou 5 doubles

Hits - M-C: Fairchile 2-3, dbl, run; Selness 2-4, tpl, RBI, run, sb; Wenthold 2-4, 2 runs, 2 sb; O'Bieglo 1-2, dbl, RBI, run; Whalen 1-4, dbl, RBI, run; Manning 1-4, RBI, run, 2 sb; Michels 1-4, RBI, Richert 1-4, RBI

Hits - Hou: Tyler Hoskins 4-5, 3 RBI, 3 runs, sb; Christian Sires 3-5, 2 dbl, RBI, 3 runs; Wesley Johnson 3-5, 2 dbl, 3 RBI, 3 runs, sb; Pete Jergenson 3-5, 2 RBI, 2 sb; Dylan Lee 2-4, dbl, RBI, 2 runs, sb; Taylor Johnson 1-5, RBI.

Southeast Conference Baseball 2014

Lyle/Pacelli 3-0 (4-3 season)

Mabel-Canton 1-1 (1-2 season)

Houston 1-2 (1-2 season)

Schaeffer Academy 0-2 (1-3 season)