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Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

Squirrels open state tournament with win over Kennett

Sunday, July 8, 2012

(Photo)
Charleston's Ethan Browning (left) is greeted at the plate by teammate Ryan Fortner after hitting a home run in the first inning of Friday's contest against Kennett during the 2012 Missouri Senior Babe Ruth State Tournament at Hillhouse Park.
(Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- Kicking off the Missouri Senior Babe Ruth Tournament on a high note, the Charleston Fighting Squirrels knocked out 12 runs in the final two innings against Kennett on Friday to win 13-3 via the mercy rule.

"That's the offensive group I've been waiting to see," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "We hit balls on the screws all night long. Even earlier in the ball game when we were making outs we hit balls deep in the gaps and they just made some plays."

Though they scattered some hits throughout the first three innings, it wasn't after Kennett took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth that the Squirrels offense came to life.

Coming up in the bottom of the frame back Charleston got back-to-back hits from Tim Hillis and Zac Chasteen before a Jacob Wilson single plated the rally's first run.

A perfectly executed suicide squeeze from Trey Watkings tied the game with Ryan Moses tying the game soon after on a ground out to the first baseman.

By the end of the frame the Squirrels had collected seven hits and rallied for eight runs to take a commanding 9-3 lead.

"We're playing a bunch of younger kids and we're learning on the fly against a very good team," Kennett head coach Aaron New said. "Charleston has a really good team and we just can't stop giving up a big inning.

"Instead of controlling an inning and keeping it to a 5-3 game we just keep letting it slip away from us and letting it get out of control."

After Squirrels' starter Ryan Moses pitched a scoreless top of the fifth to keep his team's six-run lead intact, Charleston came back to the plate and scored another fours runs to end the game on the mercy-rule.

"That's two innings we don't have to throw. And when you're going to have to win a lot of baseball games we want to save every inning that we can.

"Not only did we save two innings, we probably saved 25 or 30 pitches on some ones arm. It was just a good team win tonight."

Earlier in the game, Kennett took their first lead of the night in the top of the first before Squirrels' hitter Ethan Browing hit a shot off the left field foul pole to tie the game in the bottom of the frame.

Following two scoreless innings Kennett plated two runs in the fourth to take it's 3-1 lead before Charleston answered with 12 unanswered runs.

Leading the Squirrel's 10 hit effort was Browning with a 2 for 3 performance that included a run batted in and three runs scored. Wilson was 2 for 2 with an RBI while Chasteen added a double to Charleston's cause.

The keeps the Squirrels in the winner's bracket where they played Jackson on Saturday while Kennett drops to the losers' bracket where they face the loser of the Arch City/Chaffee game.