(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
BENTON -- Breaking out for 11 runs in the fourth inning on Wednesday, the Kelly Hawks picked up their fifth win of season with a 16-1 rout of Bell City.
"It was good for our team," Kelly head coach Josh Eftink said. "We needed a game like this were we came out and did a lot of things well today. Gabe (Felter) had a great game on the mound, throwing a lot of strikes for us. Really up and down the lineup we hit the ball pretty well."
After sending down the Cubs (2-7) in order to start the game, Kelly (5-7) wasted little team in taking the lead. Aaron Grainger and Ian Householder started the Hawks' offense with a walk and a single before a double by Jeff Gates brought home the first two runs of the game.
Taking advantage of a pair of errors, both Gates and Gabe Felter eventually came around to score to put the Hawks up 4-0.
Though they were held to only a run in the next two innings as Bell City kept pace at 5-1, the Hawks once again opened things up in the bottom of the fourth.
In the inning, 11 of the first 12 Hawk batters found their way on base before coming around to score with less than two outs.
Starting the inning with five straight hits, Householder, Matt Proctor, Gates and Aaron Casey each drove in a run with a single before a bases loaded drive to left field by Brent Forck drove in another two.
Three straight bases-loaded walks drove in a another three runs before Casey hit his second single of the frame to bring in the final two runs of the game.
By the end of the frame, Kelly had amassed 11 runs on eights and five walks while coming two batters short of batting around the order twice.
"That was part of the game where we had just got five hits in a row and we're putting the ball in play and hitting it hard," Eftink said of the rally. "Then (their pitcher) starting losing control a little bit. When pitchers start walking people that's how you get real big innings."
With Kelly needing only three outs to secure a five inning mercy-rule win, relief pitcher Forck forced the Cubs to strand two runners while ending the game with a strikeout.
"Trey (Geiger) threw well for four innings and kept the game close," Bell City head coach Justin Simpher said. "Then he just ran out of gas.
"We have a few guys that can hit. We had some others that can hit as well, but had runners on and went up there not looking to hit."
Picking up the win, Felter went four full innings, giving up the Cubs' one run on two hits and a walk while striking out seven. Forck pitched the entire fifth inning, striking out two while hitting a batter in the scoreless frame.
Eight of Hawks' starting nine contributed at least a hit in the contest with Casey and Householder leading the way with three hits each.
Householder drove in two runs and scored three while going 3 for 3 at the plate and drawing a walk in his only other appearance. Going 3 for 4, Casey drove in three runs while scoring twice.
The only other Hawk with multiple hits was Gates, who went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored and four runs batted in.
"We hit the ball well," Eftink said. "Even in the second and third innings, when we just scored one run, we were hitting the ball hard. They were making some plays in the outfield and our guys were trying to hit the ball out of the park instead of hitting line drives and balls on the ground.
"The kids did a great job in the fourth inning hitting a lot of line drives and put the ball on the ground making good things happen."
Next up, Kelly will take part in the 2012 Go Blue Classic starting this Friday at Charleston. They will start things off at 1:45 p.m. against Twin Rivers.
Bell City 010 0 0 - 1 2 4
Kelly 401 (11)x - 16 13 4
WP -- Gabe Felter. LP -- Trey Geiger. Multiple hitters: (K)Jeff Gates 2-3, Aaron Casey 3-4. 2B -- (B) Josh Overbey; (K) Gates.