KALIDA — Kalida right-hander Josh Recker was spot on in leading the Wildcats to a 10-1 victory over Crestview on a pleasant Saturday afternoon in non-league baseball action at Holy Name Ballpark.
He gave up seven hits and an earned run, while walking one and fanning eight in his 99-pitch (69 for strikes) outing.
“We hadn’t been able to throw Josh yet this year but he is in his third season of varsity as a starting pitcher. He has a good idea of what he is doing,” Kalida head coach Joe Recker said. “He throws three pitches for strikes. He is around the strike zone all the time, and he works quickly. He doesn’t waste a lot of time when he’s on the mound and he gives up a lot of balls that are hit weakly.”
The Wildcats (4-0) got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the second inning against Crestview starter Griffen Painter (two innings, four hits, one base-on-balls, one strikeout, four runs, one earned).
“That was a gutty performance by Griffen,” Crestview head coach Jim Wharton said. “He wasn’t feeling very well, and he tried to go. we didn’t give him any support. Our defense is something we are going to have to shore up. We will move people around and try to find the right people in the right spots but we know we have to improve on our defense.”
With one down, Recker walked and Tyler Klausing singled to left. Recker was caught trying to steal third by catcher Korbin Hartman for the second out, with Klausing swiping second. Matt Kehres was hit by a pitch, Gabe Hovest beat out an infield hit to third and when no one covered home, Klausing scored for a 1-0 edge. The Knights’ defense misplayed Zach Vonderembse’s fly ball for a two-base error, plating Kehres and Hovest. Luke Erhart singled to center to get Vonderembse home for a 4-0 edge.
Crestview (1-4) got its lone run in the top of the third. Riley Wilson doubled to right, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Logan Gerardot’s single to center for a 4-1 scoreboard.
“This was the fourth game where we outhit our opponents. We had some good approaches at the plate,” Wharton said. “We had a couple of two-strike hits. What hurt us today was the lack of timely hitting. We know we have to keep working and stay together as a team for us to work through what we’re going through right now.”
Kalida put it away with a six spot in the home fifth.
“We didn’t have the type of game at the plate as we’d like,” coach Recker said. “At the same time, we put the ball in play and capitalized on what Crestview gave us. You don’t see a Wharton-coached team commit errors like they did today.”
An error on a grounder hit by Erhart (3-for-4) started it against reliever Kaden Short (2 2/3 innings, 1 hit, four walks, six unearned runs) and he stole second. Owen Recker walked and two errors on Ethan Lambert’s grounder plated Erhart for a 5-1 lead, putting Owen Recker at third, from where he scored on a single to left by Trevor Lambert. Ethan Lambert was out trying to advance on a wild pitch for the first out. Josh Recker walked. An out later, Kehres got aboard on an error, with Trevor Lambert scoring for a 7-1 lead. Hovest was safe on an error on his grounder, loading the bases. Josh Recker scored as Vonderembse walked for an 8-1 edge. Kehres scored on an infield single by Erhart and Hovest scored as Owen Recker was hit by a pitch for the final tally.
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