KALIDA – Kalida right-hander Josh Klausing showed that the Wildcats have a lot more on the mound than Kent State-bound Owen Recker.
Klausing pitched well through four innings and Kalida delivered a few key hits in a 9-2 baseball victory over Delphos St. John’s Monday at Holy Name Ballpark.
Kalida is 4-2. St. John’s is 1-6.
“Our swings have really been coming around and we’ve really worked hard on that because that’s been a weakness for us,” Kalida coach Joe Recker said. “I’ve seen a lot of good swings out of young kids.’’
Klausing worked the first four innings, giving up two runs, both earned, on four hits. He struck out five and walked two.
Klausing threw his fastball and breaking ball consistently for strikes. He threw 54 pitches, 33 for strikes.
The biting, cold 38-degree day didn’t seem to bother his control.
“I got a good feel for it (the breaking ball) early in the game,” Klausing said. “I used my fastball first, then used my curveball. … After the first inning, you get a feel for it.’’
Added Recker, “Josh Klausing throws strikes. He’s not going to overpower you, but he can locate his offspeed and he’s a smart pitcher. And David Peck is the same way.’’
Klausing was followed to the mound by Peck, who tossed two shutout innings, giving up one hit. He struck out two.
Clay Bellman finished it off for Kalida with a shutout seventh inning.
Kalida knocked out seven hits and was helped out by three St. John’s errors and seven walks.
“We had seven walks and we can’t do that,” St. John’s coach Jerry Jackson said.
The Wildcats took the lead to stay 1-0 in the first.
With the score 4-2 in the home fourth, Kalida added five in the fourth to pull away 9-2.
During the fifth, St. John’s walked four batters, one intentional, and hit a batter. There were also a few wild pitches and passed balls tossed in.
It didn’t help the Blue Jays that their top two catchers were unavailable, including starter Jeff Odenweller (stiff neck).
In the fifth, Luke Erhart’s RBI single gave Kalida a 6-2 lead. Josh Recker walked with the bases loaded to make it 7-2.
Josh Klausing’s two-run single to left made it 9-2, Kalida.
Owen Recker, who played first base on Monday, went 2 for 2 with a walk. His RBI single in the first gave Kalida a 1-0 lead.
Zach Von der Embse went 1 for 2 with two walks. He had an RBI single in the second to give Kalida a 2-0 lead.
For St. John’s leadoff hitter Colin Will went 2 for 4 with a double.
In the third, Will doubled and came home on an RBI single by Chandler Skym to get St. John’s within 2-1.
Lefty Devin Cairo started for the Blue Jays and went three innings. He gave up four runs, two earned, on three hits. He walked three and struck out none.
Adam Gerker went the final 2 1/3 innings for the Blue Jays, giving up no runs on two hits. He struck out two and walked none.
“This is really his first year of pitching,” Jackson said of Gerker. “We’ve seen some good things. He keeps his offspeed low.’’
Kalida (2-0 in the Putnam County League) returns to PCL action on Thursday with a key home game against Fort Jennings.
Owen Recker should be back on the mound for that one.
“We’ve got to have four or five guys (pitchers) we can count on in any situation and in big pressure situations and we’re gaining on that every day,” Recker said.
Klausing added, “We have a lot of good pitchers behind Owen. Obviously, he’s a great pitcher, but he can’t pitch every day and it’s nice to have other people go out and help the team.’’