Kennett baseball team outlasts Kelly

Friday, May 11, 2012
Kelly shortstop Aaron Grainger throws to first base during Thursday's game at Kennett. (DUSTIN WARD ~ Daily Dunklin Democrat)

KENNETT, Mo. -- The Kennett baseball team pushed across six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 10-10 tie on its way to a 16-10 win against Kelly on Thursday.

"We really swung the bats well," Kennett coach Aaron New said. "Even when we made outs, we made solid contact. We didn't pitch as well as we wanted to today, and sometimes that happens. Our offense kind of carried us today."

Kennett and Kelly combined for 29 hits in the seven-inning game. All nine hitters in Kelly's lineup recorded at least one hit.

"That's really good leading into the district," Kelly coach Josh Eftink said. "You want to get the bats going for districts. You've got to have some games where you can put up some runs and make things easier on yourself. We are hoping we can continue hitting like that in upcoming games."

Kennett jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after plating four runs in the first inning and three runs in the second inning against Kelly starting pitcher Gabe Felter, who was lifted after recording six outs.

Kelly scored its first four runs off Kennett starting pitcher Ryan Pullin in the top of the third to trim Kennett's lead to 7-4.

Kennett lifted Pullin for Jon Rooney with two outs in the third. Kennett scored two runs in the third and one run in the fourth off Kelly reliever Brent Forck, who pitched two innings.

Kelly scored six runs on six hits off Rooney in the sixth to tie the game at 10-10.

Kennett brought Adam Grantham into the game to pitch when Kelly had the bases loaded with two outs. Grantham struck out Forck to end the inning.

"That's what he is here to do," New said. "He's a senior leader and came through with a big inning for us."

Kelly reliever Aaron Grainger, who pitched a scoreless fifth inning for the Hawks, allowed six runs in the sixth. Kennett's Daniel Lockhert got the go-ahead RBI when he drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs.

Grainger, Gaven Ray and Austin Wadlington each had one RBI for Kelly. Kelly's Ian Householder finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs, and Matt Proctor went 2 for 5 with two RBIs. Aaron Casey was 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

"We gave ourselves opportunities and capitalized on most of our opportunities," Eftink said. "You cannot complain when you are hitting the ball like that against a good club like Kennett."

Kelly dropped to 10-12 this season. It is seeded No. 3 in Class 2 District 3 and will play sixth-seeded Woodland in a district quarterfinal contest at 2 p.m. Saturday in Chaffee.

"Our district is a tough district," Eftink said. "We've got Chaffee and Valle Catholic as the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in our district. They are both solid and there are several other solid clubs in our district. We've got to come ready to play each game."


WP -- Adam Grantham. LP -- Aaron Grainger. 3B -- Justin Smith (Ken), Collin Smith (Ken). 2B -- Gabe Fetter (Kelly), Logan Dollins (Ken), Justin Smith (Ken), Kevonte Mitchell (Ken), Chad Stanley (Ken). Multiple hits -- Kelly: Ian Householder 3-5, Matt Proctor 2-5, Aaron Casey 2-3, Grainger 2-4; Kennett: J. Smith 2-5, Dollins 3-5, Mitchell 2-4, Chad Stanley 2-2. Records -- Kelly 10-12, Kennett 20-3.

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