The home team was right where it wants to be.
Kelso upended Mark Morris 7-2 at Stan Rister Stadium on Friday with the Hilanders playing quality ball from top to bottom.
Seth Sutherby turned in a grounder on a hit and run situation to give Kelso a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Backed by pitching, the Scots built on basic ball for the duration of the afternoon.
“Korbin (Hiatt) was strong, did a nice job,” Kelso coach Tom D’Aboy said. “Got a little tired in the fourth inning, which is understandable. … And then Trevor Hartley came in and did a nice job and it was good to see Nick (Miller) out there. Nick hasn’t thrown for awhile so it was good to see him get on the bump and get an inning in.”
Kelso’s pitchers held the top six hitters in the Monarchs lineup hitless for the day. MM’s Dawson Fritz scored in the top of the fourth on a passed ball, and Noah Mejia scored a run two plays later.
“It’s still early and we’re going to try and figure a few things out,” MM coach Greg Bussell said. “I think we’re going to pitch well, and defensively I think we’re going to be fine. It’s just a matter of bats being hot and cold. And when we’re swinging it to get the pitches that we need to get the ball in play, then I think we’re a lot better off.”
Jack Shipley pitched four innings for the Monarchs, striking out three, and Hiatt lasted 3 ⅔ innings on the hill for Kelso, with two strikeouts against three hits. Miller was 2 for 4 at the plate and knocked in two runs. Mitchell Pelton led MM (1-2) with two hits on four at bats.
In all, the Hilanders (2-1) scored a victory, but also reinforced a goal the team is working toward.
“I thought it was our cleanest game defensively,” D’Aboy said. “Still a mistake or two on the basepaths but definitely our cleanest game and that’s what you want. You want each game to be the best one that you’ve played and that’s what we saw today.”