Kettle loses tough outing
Kettle Falls High (3-5, 3-6) got a key outing from junior right-hander Tyler Vining when they needed it last Saturday and the Bulldogs were able to salvage a doubleheader split with league-leading Lind-Ritzville/Sprague at home.
After Kettle Falls dropped a 12-1 decision in the opener to the Broncos, the Bulldogs were able to ride Vining’s second sterling outing of the week to a 5-1 win. It was the first win of last week’s four- game set against LRS and perennial 2B power Colfax.
Vining pitched six innings and surrendered one earned run. He scattered seven LRS hits, fanned seven and issued only one walk.
Logan Cook came on in relief and pitched a one, two, three seventh inning. He struck out two.
Kettle Falls played solidly on defense behind Vining and Cook (one error). The Bulldogs threw it around and booted it around in the first game with four errors. It looked like more.
“Tyler pitched very well all week,” KFHS head coach Landon Johnston said of his big junior’s work on the mound last week. “He certainly pitched well enough to win at Colfax.
“He is getting better and better.”
More run support
Vining has had trouble getting much run support during his starts. He got enough on Saturday afternoon.
Kettle Falls struck for four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break up a scoreless game. Freshman first baseman Brady Hansen doubled home Brandon Thomas, who had singled. Senior Reuben Winter followed with a double that scored Hansen.
After a pair of walks, sophomore Kyle Hyde picked up his first hit of the season, a two-run single.
The Bulldogs added a single run in the sixth inning. Brent McNeil drew a walk and wound up at third base after an error and a passed ball. That set the table for freshman leadoff Devin Thompson, who laid down a perfect bunt that went for a single and scored McNeil.
Hansen had doubles in both games. Thompson was 2-3 in the second game.
Not much went right for Kettle Falls in the opener.
Johnston, who is the first to concede that his mostly young, inexperienced team is a “work in progress,” was pleased with his team’s ability to execute on “situational hitting” opportunities in the second game.
“We did a good job in that department…moving kids over,” Johnston said. “Now we just need to get started a little faster.
“It’s always good to beat the league-leader.”
Seven of nine starters hit safely in the second game.
In the opener, left-hander Brandon Thomas had his second rough outing of the week. While Thomas, Kettle’s top hitter, was 3-4 at the plate in the second game, he struggled on the mound in his start. But in all fairness to the junior, he got little support from his defense (four errors) or offense (four hits).
“I was proud of the way Brandon bounced back,” his coach said.
At Colfax back on April 10, the host Bulldogs took only five innings to beat Kettle Falls, 16-6 in the first game. Thomas took the loss on the mound for KFHS. He surrendered 11 runs before Winter came on in relief in the fifth inning.
Colfax pounded Kettle Falls pitching for 14 hits.
Kettle Falls led 3-2 in the top of the third inning of the first game. But Colfax plated nine runs off Thomas in the bottom half of the inning. They tacked on three more in the fourth and three more in the fifth inning.
Thomas was 2-2 in the first game.
The second game was another story. Vining went the distance in Kettle’s 4-3 loss (eight innings). He scattered nine hits and struck out five. Vining walked two.
Kettle led much of the way in the opener, taking a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning before Colfax nicked Vining for a run to trail 2-1. Colfax tied the game up at 2-2 in the sixth inning.
It stayed that way through the seventh. In the eighth, Kettle Falls pushed across the go-ahead run, but the hosts caught a break in the bottom of the eighth inning when a pop fly that would have been the third out was dropped in foul territory.
With runners on second and third and two outs, a single in the hole between second and third base on a 3-2 count plated the tying and winning runs.
Vining was 3-6 on the day (double and triple in the first game). He also had three RBIs in the opener.
Shortstop Nathan Disque was 4-7 on the day at Colfax. He had three doubles, a pair of RBIs and scored three runs.
Kettle Falls was scheduled (weather permitting) to host Mary Walker (Springdale) on Tuesday in a Northeast 2B doubleheader.
Kettle Falls will step out of league play on Thursday when they travel to Priest River for a doubleheader (3 p.m. start).
Kettle Falls will travel to Reardan next Tuesday for a NE 2B doubleheader with the Indians (3 p.m. start).
STATS AT A GLANCE
Disque and Brandon Thomas are leading the Bulldogs offensively at this juncture of the season. Disque is hitting .467 and Thomas is right behind at .444. Disque leads in hits with 14. Thomas has 12. Disque has seven RBIs and Thomas has six. Vining is tied for the RBI lead with seven. He has four doubles and three triples.
Thompson leads in runs scored (10). He also leads in walks with 12.
Hansen leads in stolen bases with 12 in 13 attempts. McNeil is a perfect nine of nine.
Vining has easily logged the most time on the hill with 24.2 innings to date. He has surrendered 11 runs (nine earned), given up 27 hits and has an ERA of 2.55.
LRS 12, Kettle 1
LRS 042 33—12 13 1
KF 000 10-- 1 4 4
DeWald and Phillips. B. Thomas, Winter (4) and Cook. W—DeWald. L—Thomas (1-3).
Hits: 2B—LRS, Hartz, Hayes. Kettle Falls, Hansen.
Kettle 5, LRS 1
LRS 000 010 0— 1 7 1
KF 000 401 x-- 5 10 1
Fredrick and Phillips. Vining, Cook (7), Hansen (7). W—Vining (1-2).
HITS: 2B—LRS, Hayes. Kettle Falls, Vining, Hansen and Winter.
Colfax 4, Kettle 3
KF 100 100 01—3 6 2
CO 000 101 02—4 9 2
Vining and Cook. Burke and Bledsoe. W—Burke. L—Vining.
Hits: 2B—Disque, Mellor. HR, Bledsoe.
Colfax 16, Kettle 6
KF 102 03x— 6 4 0
CO 029 33x—16 14 3
Thomas, Winter (5) and Cook. Jacobs and Bledsoe. W—Jacobs. L—Thomas.