Raiders Habeth pitches complete game in win over Mooney

Sports
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The South Range Raiders baseball team doubled in the winning run in the sixth inning to knock off the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals 2-1 Thursday afternoon at the Raiders home diamond.  The win improves the defending state champion Raiders to 5-1 on the season.  The Cardinals drop to 0-6 on the year.

“This was big, we had a tough loss last night to Poland so we needed to get back on the winning track so to speak,” Raiders head coach Jim Hanek said.

The low scoring pitchers dual was a vast contrast from a week ago when the Raiders beat the Cardinals 10-9 in 9 innings at Cene Park.  It was also a much different game for the Raiders senior starting pitcher Nick Habeth.

“The curveball and cutter were working for me.  I was able to spot up the fastball real good,” Habeth explained the reason for his success.

Habeth struggled in the first meeting, but he held the Cardinals to just 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 2 batters in the complete game performance.  He retired the last 9 batters in closing out the win.

“Last time we had a rough first inning.  I had a rough first inning here too, but I just kept calm and kept pitching,” Habeth said.  “The first game I didn’t really have my curveball working for me, but this game was a different story.”

The Cardinals appeared they would repeat the earlier contest when Jorden Sheehan began the game with a hit and came around to score on a Walter Sweeney single to take a 1-0 lead in the first.  But the Cardinals would only muster 2 hits the remaining 6 innings.

The Raiders would knot the game at 1-1 in the third inning following a double by Trey Pancake where he would come around to score on an RBI single by Ben Rivera.  Rivera would lead off the sixth inning with a double to left-center and then score the winning run on a double by Dylan Dominguez just inside the third base bag to give the Raiders the 2-1 victory.  The Raiders would collect 9 hits in the game.

“It was one of those games that could go either way,” Hanek stated.  “Your waiting for your guys to get that big hit.  The lead-off double and then a two-strike inside the line (double) by about four inches and well that works.”

“He was our leading hitter last year,” Hanek remarked about Rivera.  “He’s started a little slow this year, which some guys do, but he’s been red hot as of late and red hot today for us.”

The Cardinals AJ Pepperney would suffer the loss while pitching a complete game.  He would collect 2 strikeouts in the contest.

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