As a designated hitter, Hunter Scheib was lights out. On the mound, however, Scheib needed a searchlight to find home plate.
Scheib lasted only one inning in his first career start as a hurler, yet drove in five runs as the Raiders thumped the Topeka Capitals, 15-5, in the second game of a Legion baseball doubleheader Wednesday night at Ice Field.
The Capitals won the opener, 14-10.
Scheib, normally the Raiders' shortstop, had been bugging coach Shaun Edmondson about starting ever since early in the season when he threw a couple of innings in a mop-up role.
"He said he'd see what he could do," Scheib stated.
With the Raiders down a starter after right-hander Alex Hardman left the team two weeks ago, Edmondson gave in Wednesday night, but not without a caveat.
"He said if I started walking people," Scheib said with a smile, "he'd have to pull me."
Scheib not only started walking people, he gave free tickets to the first four batters he faced. Edmondson left him in, however, allowing the Free State High May grad to finish the frame even though the first three batters he walked, scored.
That was it, though. Edmondson replaced Scheib with Lance Lanborn to start the second, and Lanborn went the rest of the way in the run-rule-shortened four-inning contest for the victory.
Lanborn came in, but Scheib didn't depart. Edmondson left him in as the DH.
"I knew he wasn't going to pitch seven innings," the Raiders' coach said, "and we wanted him to hit, too."
Hit is exactly what Scheib did with a two-run triple in the second inning and a three-run homer - his fourth of the season - in the third as the Raiders bounced back from their first-game stinkeroo.
In the opener, the Raiders' committed four errors - two by Scheib at short - and three relief pitchers couldn't protect an 8-3 lead. The Capitals scored 11 runs in the last three innings.
"They responded," Edmondson said of the second-game reversal. "That's the mark of a good team, to brush things aside."
Scheib wasn't the only hitting standout. Matthew Abel put up a quartet of fours in the nightcap. The Raiders' centerfielder and leadoff hitter went 4-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBIs.
Three of Abel's hits were bunt singles, but he also struck a three-run game-ending triple in the bottom of the fourth.
Moreover, Abel was 2-for-3 in the first game with 3 RBIs. So on the night, the former Eudora High standout went 6-for-7 with five runs scored and seven RBIs.
"He's pretty streaky," Edmondson said of Abel, "but when he sees the ball well he's as good as there is at this level."
The Raiders, 18-13, will meet Buhler at 3:45 p.m. Friday in a first-round game of the Emporia Invitational.