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Capahas baseball team rips Valmeyer 21-8 to sweep pair
Kody Campbell has a busy summer planned, so he doesn't know how much he'll be able to play for the Plaza Tire Capahas.
Expect Campbell to make as many games as he can based on how he has started his third season with the Capahas.
Campbell belted home runs in each of the Capahas' first two contests to help Plaza Tire post two seven-inning run-rule routs over the visiting Valmeyer (Ill.) Lakers, including Saturday's 21-8 blistering.
"It's gone pretty good so far," a smiling Campbell said following Saturday's romp.
Campbell, who recently completed a solid career at Southeast Missouri State, is helping coach several select baseball teams this summer, which could limit his availability with the Capahas.
"This weekend may be it for a while," said Campbell, an Oran High School graduate who will start work toward a master's degree at Southeast this fall. "Coaching select teams, it's every weekend. I'll try to make it when I can.
"It's fun to come out here and play for the Capahas. There's not a lot of pressure."
Campbell drilled a three-run homer while walking and being hit by a pitch during Friday's 15-1 win.
Campbell ripped a two-run shot Saturday and added an RBI single during his 2-for-3 performance that included two walks.
"I didn't touch a bat or a ball since last Saturday [when Southeast[']s season ended at the Ohio Valley Conference tournament], so I didn't know how it would go this weekend," Campbell said.
Campbell is one of the veterans on a youthful roster that features just eight returning players.
"There are a lot of new guys, but they're doing pretty well so far. I hope they can keep it up," said Campbell, who played first base at Southeast but was at third base in the Capahas' first two games.
The Capahas feasted on a thin Valmeyer pitching staff during the two-game series. The Lakers were saving their top hurlers for today's doubleheader in their local Mon-Clair League.
It didn't hurt the Capahas that they used aluminum during the first two games, although they generally swing wood bats. Valmeyer also swung aluminum.
"They have some good hitters, and we thought with those types of hitters it might be hard to match them, so we'll just swing aluminum the first two games," Capahas manager Jess Bolen said. "We'll go to wood after these first two games."
The Capahas pounded out 20 hits, including seven doubles and a triple to go with Campbell's home run. That came after they had 12 hits Friday, including three doubles and Campbell's homer.
"We've hit the ball well these first two games," Bolen said. "Some of our younger guys are looking good."
First-year Capahas players combined for 13 of Saturday's 20 hits.
Mark Hagedorn, a Notre Dame Regional High School graduate who recently completed his sophomore season at Division II Kentucky Wesleyan, went 3 for 4 with two doubles and four RBIs.
Clayton Gibbons also went 3 for 4. Brandon Bennett and Adam Blum added two hits apiece. Bennett tripled and had two RBIs.
Cole Bieser, who recently completed his sophomore season at Southeast, had two doubles and scored five runs after he went 3 for 3 on Friday.
Some of the Capahas' veterans also were heard from, led by Campbell and shortstop Jordan Kimball.
Kimball, a former Arkansas State player, went 3 for 5 with two RBIs.
The Capahas trailed for the first time this season when Valmeyer scored single runs in the first two innings.
They quickly erased that 2-0 deficit with an eight-run bottom of the second. The Capahas' other big inning was the fifth, when they scored seven times after the Lakers had cut a 13-4 deficit to 13-7.
Rookie Logan Holthaus, an all-conference pitcher as a sophomore for Division II Harding (Ark.) University who recently completed his junior season, survived some shaky moments to win his Capahas debut.
"He was up too much, that was the only thing I saw," Bolen said. "Other than that, he looked fine."
Holthaus concurred with Bolen after he allowed 12 hits and seven runs over six innings. He struck out four, walked two and hit three batters.
"I was a little rusty, up too much," said Holthaus, who is from Winona, Mo.
Rookie left-hander Trey Bazzell allowed an unearned run in the seventh inning to finish the rout. He struck out two and walked two.
The Capahas conclude their four-game season-opening homestand today when Perryville visits for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
WP -- Logan Holthaus. LP -- Tyson Wager. HR -- Kody Campbell (C). 3B -- Brent Rynearson (V), Brandon Bennett (C). 2B -- Jake Degener (V), Mark Hagedorn (C) 2, Cole Bieser (C) 2, Jordan Kimball (C), Clayton Gibbons (C), Logan Bartels (C). Multiple hits -- Valmeyer: Rynearson 3-5, Degener 2-4. Capahas: Hagedorn 3-4, Gibbons 3-4, Kimball 3-5, Campbell 2-3, Bennett 2-5, Bieser 2-5, Adam Blum 2-4. Records -- Capahas 2-0, Valmeyer 3-3.