Kennett defeats NMCC 10-3 in Class 3 district baseball opener
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - The Kennett Indians baseball team ended the New Madrid County Central Eagles season for a second straight year Saturday afternoon.
Kennett, which defeated New Madrid County Central 12-0 in the quarterfinals of its Class 3 district tournament in 2011, beat the Eagles 10-3 in a district quarterfinal game Saturday.
"We look up at the scoreboard and we got nine hits," Kennett coach Aaron New said. "We did it against a really good pitcher. Our offense was balanced again today and that's the way it has been all year."
Second-seeded Kennett plated the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning. The Indians first four hitters reached base on two Eagles errors, a walk and a single. Kevonte Mitchell tallied Kennett's only RBI in the first inning when he drove home a runner from third with a one-out sacrifice fly.
"I've just been seeing the ball really well and I was able to produce with the sacrifice flies today," Mitchell said.
Kennett plated its third and fourth runs off of New Madrid County Central starting pitcher JaShawn McDaniel in the bottom fourth inning. Justin Smith had an RBI-single in the fourth and the Indians plated its other fourth-inning run on an Eagles error.
Seventh-seeded New Madrid County Central nearly erased the four-run deficit in the top of the fifth.
The Eagles' Tim Clayton recorded a leadoff single in the top of the fifth. Sam Barnett followed the hit with a two-run homer to trim Kennett's lead to 4-2. New Madrid County Central's next hitter - Josh Reed - also reached on a single.
Kennett lifted its starting pitcher Tyson Campbell following Reed's hit and brought in reliever Adam Grantham.
Grantham got the first batter he faced to ground out. New Madrid County Central's next two hitters reached base on singles. James Ash's hit drove home a run to close the gap to 4-3.
The Eagles had runners at second and third with one out after cutting the margin to one run. Grantham escaped the one-out jam by collecting back-to-back strikeouts to end the scoring threat.
"We got in a little jam and I had to come in and end it," Grantham said. "We had to limit the runs in a close game."
Grantham did not allow a hit after the fifth inning and earned a nine-out save.
"We were facing a very good pitcher today that did a great job for New Madrid the first four innings," New said. "We feel like anytime we are trouble in this tournament we have to bring Grantham into the game. That's what we had to do today."
Kennett blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth when it scored five runs on three hits and two New Madrid Count Central errors. Mitchell recorded his second RBI with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Kennett's Daniel Lockhert had a two-RBI single and Justin Smith had a one-RBI single in the fifth.
The Indians plated its final run in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI-double by Mitchell.
"He's really came on lately," New said of Mitchell. "He's really swinging the bat well and his approach is good. He came up with a couple big flyballs to the outfield and a big hit later in the game."
Campbell earned the win on the mound. Campbell allowed three runs in four plus innings pitched and struck out three.
McDaniel suffered a complete-game loss. McDaniel struck out two. The Eagles made five defensive errors.
Top-seeded Notre Dame will play fourth-seeded Dexter in the first Class 3, District 1, semifinal Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Regional High School.
Notre Dame defeated eighth-seeded Doniphan 17-0 in its district quarterfinal game Saturday. Fourth-seeded Dexter beat fifth-seeded Perryville 5-3.
"We are going to set our pitching rotation Sunday," New said. "Anytime we need Grantham he will come in the remainder of the tournament in any spot."
Kennett will play third-seeded Ste. Genevieve Monday at 7 p.m. in the second semifinal contest. Ste. Genevieve beat sixth-seeded Scott City 5-1 in its district quarterfinal game.
"We need to come out with good intensity Monday," Mitchell said.
No. 2 Kennett 10, No. 7 New Madrid County Central 3
NMS 000 030 0 - 3 7 5
KHS 200 251 X - 10 9 1
WP - Tyson Campbell. LP - JaShawn McDaniel. SV - Adam Grantham. HR - Sam Barnett (N). 2B - Payton Raspberry (K), Kevonte Mitchell (K). Multiple Hits: Kennett - Justin Smith 2-4, Collin Smith 2-4.