Baseball: K-W doubles up on Lake City
LAKE CITY – Hitting the ball the other way is something one rarely sees in high school baseball. Sure, some batted balls end up as slicing base hits, though often it’s due to late swings. To see a player or two actually use the opposite field as a weapon is something typically reserved for higher levels.
And to witness an entire lineup use the strategy? Well, that’s uncommon for almost any league.
But Kenyon-Wanamingo wore out the right-center field gap Saturday in a two-game sweep of Lake City, and the offensive onslaught started early in game 1, an 11-4 Knights victory, and continued into a 12-2, five-inning outburst in the second game.
K-W pounded out 13 hits in the opener, all but one of which were singles, while Lake City committed four errors which led to five unearned runs. The Knights had four players with at least two RBI in game one, including Alex Roosen, Jake Whipple, Connor Sviggum and Androli, who had three.
The sixth batter of the game, Androli gave a glimpse into what the rest of the day would hold with an opposite-field triple that scored two. It was the fifth of five times in the inning that the Knights hit a ball to the right side, and the fourth to result in a hit off Tigers starter Reid Lundell.
“It was out there a lot in the right-field gap,” Lake City head coach Perry Iberg said. “They hit some shots, no question. Our pitching was OK, we’re not a strikeout-pitching group. We need to locate, and some of the stuff we hung, they hit.”
K-W posted four runs in the first inning, two in the second and five in the seventh. Lundell pitched to all but one batter, allowing 11 runs while striking out two.
The Tigers answered in the bottom of the first inning with a run, but could not use any of the momentum to climb back into the game until pushing across three runs in the fifth. Lundell tried to help his own cause with a two-RBI double in the fifth, with Jarrett Thomas following with a sacrifice fly.
But the top of the seventh saw the Tigers unravel defensively with several errors that led to a handful of runs.
And nothing changed after the two teams took a short break as K-W scored 11 runs in the first three innings of game two, including a combined six RBI from Roosen in his first three at-bats.
The only offense the Tigers were able to muster in game 2 was an RBI single from Thomas, and Lundell’s scamper across the plate on a wild pitch.
“We are not playing clean baseball. We’re giving extra outs, and good teams are going to make you pay for it,” Iberg said after the Tigers committed five more errors in the second game. “They attacked on four or five quick ones in game one. And it’s not like we had a lot of walks. They hit the ball well, give them some credit. But we had critical errors at critical times of the games that cost us. We have to learn to stop the bleeding.”
John Brown took the loss in game 2, throwing 2 2/3 innings, and giving up seven hits – including three doubles and a triple – while walking three and striking out four. Michael Noll finished the game for the Tigers.
Weather permitting, Lake City (5-5) hosts Pine Island at 5 p.m. Tuesday. On May 1, the Tigers have the first of three-straight road games with a trip to La Crescent.