Coldwater junior Seth Szafranski was too much and the Hillsdale Hornets late-inning rallies weren’t quite enough Thursday.
The Cardinals toppled the Hornets 10-8 and 4-1 in a doubleheader in Coldwater. Hillsdale took a 3-2 lead to the fourth inning of the opener, but a five-run inning by Coldwater proved to be enough.
The Hornets scored two runs in the seventh to make a 10-6 game just a two-run affair and they even loaded the bases, but they left them that way.
Bobby White was victorious for the Cardinals, while Hillsdale’s Mitchell Gabriele (1-1) took the loss on the hill, striking out three and walking three.
Szafranski was a home run shy of the cycle for Coldwater, knocking a single, double and triple to go with an RBI.
Derek Miller added a three-run home run in the fourth for the Cardinals.
Darren Wisely had three hits and two RBI for Hillsdale and Dillon Dirth added a home run and drove in two runs.
Charlie Vear and Mitchell Gabriele also picked up two hits apiece.
Both teams committed five errors in what Hornet head coach Chris Adams called a ‘far from perfect contest’. Nonetheless, Adams was pleased with how his troops battled.
“We were down 10-6 and we kept fighting. My guys show they don’t quit and they have some mental toughness,” he said.
In the nightcap it was more of the same for his squad though.
Szafranski added three more hits, including the homer that eluded him in the opener, and from Adams’ recollection the dinger was no puny home run.
“His bomb in the second game is probably still going — it landed somewhere over by the soccer field,” he said. “Szafranski is a stud, let me tell ya. He was definitely a Hornet killer today.”
The Hornets scored their lone run in the seventh inning, when they once again saw the game come to an end with the bases juiced.
Josh Plant earned the pitching victory for Coldwater, allowing just five hits, while Wisely (1-3) suffered the loss, striking out three and walking three.
Wisely and Gabriele both had doubles in the loss.
The 10-6 Hornets turn around and take on league foe Albion in a home doubleheader this afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m. The Hornets lead the SMAA.