By RYAN HERMAN
GRANITE FALLS –– Bruce Bolick got exactly what he wanted out of Sunday’s season-opening doubleheader, and so did his players.
The fans? Not so much.
The longtime Lincoln County Post 455 manager used the twinbill at M.S. Deal Stadium as a way to get all 20 players who showed up some game time, but its mix-and-match lineup and rotation weren’t enough as Caldwell County Post 29 swept the doubleheader with a 3-2 win in Game 1 and a come-from-behind 6-4 victory in the nightcap.
The non-division Area IV games were the first time the Cardinals (0-2) had met on the field this season, so Bolick had no choice but to throw everything against the dugout wall and see what sticks.
Aside from the losses, he left Granite Falls excited about the potential of his offense and what he saw from some of the eight arms he used across the two games.
“We had an idea of playing everybody –– playing time and at-bats,” Bolick said. “We got some experience in the doubleheader. Everybody got to play.”
Combining both games, Nathaniel Scoggins went 3-for-6 and scored two runs, Nick Savoie went 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored a run, and Bryan Seymour had two hits.
Post 29 scored all three of its runs in the first two innings of Game 1 off Zac Reeder. The hard-throwing North Lincoln right-hander left after two innings and was the victim of a pair of fielding errors that led to runs in the second and gave Caldwell County (2-0) a 3-0 lead. Reeder gave up one earned run on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the loss.
Paul Cochrane, Mitchell Keener and Brandon Drenner combined to toss four shutout innings the rest of the way, but the Cardinals couldn’t catch up. They got an RBI single from Savoie in the third and an RBI groundout by Chase Watson in the fifth, but ran themselves out of a chance to tie when Watson was gunned down at the plate in the seventh on Seymour’s hit to left.
In Game 2 Justin Norton took the ball and was lights out for four innings. He struck out five, walked one and allowed one unearned run on two hits to help his team to a 3-1 lead. But it didn’t last.
Playing as the visitor in Game 2, Post 29 entered the top of the seventh down 3-2, but it scored four runs on three hits and saddled Mitchell Keener with the loss.
Keener, who took over for Tyger McRee with a one-run lead and one out, gave up three runs on three hits and hit one.
Reeder’s sac fly scored Savoie, who was hit with a pitch, in the bottom of the seventh to make it 6-4, but that’s where the game ended.
Overall, Bolick was pleased with what he saw.
“Not bad,” he said. “We hit the ball at times. A couple of pitchers did well.”