(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
BENTON -- With both teams playing their last regular season game, the Kennett Indians held off a late rally by the Kelly Hawks Thursday afternoon to win 11-6.
"I thought we did alright," Kelly coach Josh Eftink said. "That's a real good ball club over there (in Kennett).
"They had some chances to put us away, but we kept battling and kept it respectable."
Taking an early lead with their leadoff runner scoring off an error in the top of the first, the Indians put runs on the board in all but the second frame.
Already 4-1 after four innings of play, Kennett opened up the fifth with its first three batters reaching before coming around to score in a three-run rally that gave the Indians a six-run advantage.
Up 8-1 heading into the seventh, the Indians once again broke out for three runs in the final frames, stringing together three-straight hits to start the inning, to take a 10-run lead.
Though facing a big deficit and down to their final three outs, the Hawks went to work in the bottom of the seventh with their first four batters of the inning reaching before coming around to score.
In what turned out to be five-run rally to close Kelly to within six of the Indians, clean up hitter Matthew Proctor drove in the final two runs on a double to deep left field, making the score 11-6.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, with one out and Proctor on second, their No. 5 hitter grounded out to short before a strike out by their No. 6 hitter ended the game.
"From a coaching aspect that's a nice thing to see," Eftink said. "Seeing that the kids were down 10 runs going into the last inning and that they're not giving up.
"They were still having good, quality at bats and trying to make something happen."
Finishing the contest with seven hits, Kelly was led by Proctor and Gabe Felter, who both contributed two hits, including a double.
For the Indians, who had 11 hits on the contest, Adam Grantham went 4 for 5, including a two-run home run to left in the third inning. Cameron Wallace and Andy Lack each had two hits with Lack contributing a double and batting in three runs.
"We got some swings in," Kennett coach Aaron New said. "A couple guys put some good swings on the ball and hit a few balls hard.
"(Kelly's) pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance early in game and as the game went on we swung the bats a little better."
The win improves the Indians' record to 19-2 while Kelly drops to 5-15.
Kennett 102 131 3 - 11
Kelly 010 000 5 - 6
WP -- Jon Rooney. LP -- Trey Walker. 2B -- (KN) Andy Lack; (KL) Matthew Proctor, Gabe Felter. HR -- (KN) Adam Grantham.