KALIDA — Kalida’s 15-11 baseball win over Crestview on Saturday took around 2 1/2 hours but might have been decided in 10 to 15 minutes.
The Wildcats found themselves down 6-3 to the Knights heading into the bottom of the fourth inning after Crestview clean up hitter Trever Sheets had launched a towering home run over the leftfield fence at Holy Name Field in the top of that inning.
But by the time 11 Kalida batters had taken their swings in the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats had a 9-6 lead and never trailed again.
“It was huge,” Kalida coach Chad Ehrnsberger said about that inning. Crestview coach Jim Wharton called it a disaster.
All but one of Kalida’s six runs in the inning came after two outs, which added a little impact to the Wildcats’ rally.
“I’m glad the guys turned it on. We looked sluggish to start the game. Then I think we woke up. Once our guys get going they usually can continue,” Ehrnsberger said.
Wharton said, “It was a disaster. We’re a young team, we’re still trying to figure things out, we’ve had some injuries. I believe all those runs were unearned and once that happens it tends to snowball.”
Luke Erhart went 4-for-4, with a double and three singles and had a sacrifice fly for the Wildcats, who had 17 hits. Justin Siebeneck was 3 for 5 and Brandon Miller, Ryan Lucke and Jaden Smith all had two hits.
“Our guys worked really hard in the offseason. We hit really well last summer. Hopefully, this hot hitting continues,” Ehrnsberger said.
Drew Buss, who pitched four innings in relief, got the win. He allowed two runs and four hits, struck out four and walked three before being removed after one batter in the seventh.
“He’s been a guy who has been throwing JV for us and doing well. One of the things he does is he throws strikes and he mixes it up. Guys like that can have a lot of success,” Ehrnsberger said. “Today, he threw really well for us and definitely earned himself some more varsity innings.”
Crestview did not go away quietly, though, even after Kalida built its lead to 15-6 after six innings.
The Knights sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the seventh inning, scored five runs and had two runners on base when the game ended.
“I was really proud of our kids battling to make it respectable in the seventh. Our team has grit. We’ve got a little bit of grit but we’ve got a long way to go,” Wharton said.
Kalida improved to 5-2 with the win. Crestview is 4-2.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.