Bears sweep Cougars, keep Shasta Cascade League lead

Dave Sjostedt
Mount Shasta High School’s Gage Kinkade is tagged out at the plate by Weed’s pitcher, Braxton Barnes, who was covering the plate during the first game of a doubleheader in Weed on Friday afternoon.

Mount Shasta baseball stayed in the running for the Shasta Cascade League title with doubleheader wins over Weed Friday at Sons Field that pushed their record to 5-1 with four games versus Modoc and Etna left on their schedule.

Weed, 1-7 and tied with Trinity for fifth place in the SCL, wraps up its season with two games at Fall River, the top-ranked division VI team.

The first contest was a pitcher’s duel, with each team getting three hits and all the runs unearned as Mount Shasta eked out a 2-1 win. Senior Gage Kinkade opened the game with a bunt single, advanced to second, then to third on errors and scored the first run.

The Bears took a 2-0 lead in the third when Kekai Ferguson scored after reaching on a two base error. The Cougars made it 2-1 in the bottom of the third when Hunter Smith singled and scored on an error.

Neither team would score again. Hunter Stock pitched four innings for the Bears, striking out eight and walking none. Ian Allen finished the game. He struck out four batters and didn’t allow a run.

Senior Braxton Barnes went 6.2 innings for the Cougars. He allowed just two hits, issued three walks, and struck out an impressive 12 Bears.

Allen singled for the other Bear hit. George Cook doubled home Hunter Smith in the third inning for the Cougar run. Smith had singled and advanced on an error.

Brandon Cordes singled in the fourth inning for Weed and stole second base but was left stranded, as was Braxton Barnes in the sixth inning after he reached second base on an error with nobody out.

The second game was close for four innings, with Mount Shasta leading 4-3 before breaking it open with a nine-run fifth inning. The Bears only got three hits in the fifth, but benefitted from three walks, two hit batsmen, and two Cougar errors.

Jackson May had two hits, including a double for Mount Shasta. Kinkade had two hits and scored two runs, and junior Kayden Crisci banged out a double.

Carson Pellitier gave up four runs in five innings to get the win. Reliever Lane Kindley pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game.

George Cook had a single and two runs scored, and Barnes singled in the first run for Weed.

Weed’s starting pitcher Jarrod Keen left after four innings with the score tied 2-2. Relievers Chris Dahmen and Enrique Sanchez threw 48 pitches in the fifth inning before retiring the Bears.

Mount Shasta travels to Alturas on Friday to play a doubleheader against the Modoc Braves that will go a long way to deciding the SCL champ. The Bears are 5-1 in league play, while second place Modoc is 6-2. The Braves season will be complete after they play Mount Shasta. Etna, at 4-2, has only played six games and has yet to play the Bears. They’ll travel to Mount Shasta for a May 6 game, which will also be Senior Recognition Day for the Bears.

If Mount Shasta wins out, they are the champs. If they win three of their last four, they can do no worse than tie for the title.

Weed plays their final two games Friday at Fall River, the team ranked number one in division VI by Maxpreps. Weed is ranked fourth in that division, and a win against the Bulldogs will buoy Cougar playoff hopes.