BASEBALL: Braves' offense sputters in its first Cowapa League game of the season, a shutout loss at home against Scappoose
by: Tommy Whitcomb, Banks senior Todd Baggerley throws a pitch during the fifth inning of last Tuesday’s game against Scappoose.

Under heavy cloud cover, Banks opened the Cowapa League baseball season last Tuesday at home against Scappoose.

Senior Todd Baggerley took the hill for Banks, coming off a two-hit, 13-strikeout performance against Rainier in a pre-season game on March 22 - a game the Braves won handily. Baggerley was not as lucky in his first league appearance, however, giving up four hits and three runs in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Indians (6-4, 1-0).

The story of the night was Scappoose starting pitcher Jacob Gale, who struck out 11 and gave up just one hit to earn a complete game shutout.

'Gale was hot tonight and our bats weren't,' said Banks head coach Wymon Smith.

Banks' only hit came in the fourth inning by senior rightfielder Alan Kronenberg, who was promptly thrown out trying to steal second.

Banks did not have another baserunner until Gale issued a walk to senior Jared Herb in the sixth inning. Herb suffered the same fate as Kronenberg - thrown out trying to swipe second - and Gale cruised the rest of the way.

The Braves turned around and traveled to Scappoose for another league game on Thursday, and once against the Indians' pitching was too much for Banks. Scappoose picked up an 11-1 victory in five innings.

The Braves were only able to scrounge four hits in the game.

'In the third [inning] the score was 3-0 (in favor of Scappoose) but we couldn't produce a key hit to bring guys in,' Smith said.

This week Banks will square off against Seaside. The Braves traveled to Seaside on Tuesday, but results were not available at press time. The teams will play again at Banks on Thursday.

Seaside has also lost its first two leagues games, so both teams will be hungry to make a mark in the 'W' column. Last year Banks took two of three from the Seagulls, and Smith said his squad is hoping to repeat that feat.

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