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Kalida knocks off top-seeded Grove in softball tournament PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:39 AM


The Delphos Herald

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COLUMBUS GROVE — Kalida baseball coach Jim McBride is retiring after this season and his Wildcats were attempting to extend his career one game longer as they took on the Columbus Grove Bulldogs in the Division IV sectional finals at Grove on Tuesday afternoon.

The Wildcats struck for three runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back as they beat the top-seeded Bulldogs 9-3 to move on to the districts at Elida.


Neil Recker went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in. Kyle Kehres was 1-for-3 while knocking in three. Austin Swift pitched three innings, giving up two runs, while striking out three and walking four. Kehres came on in relief and gave up one run to get the win.


Kalida put the lead runner on in each of the first five innings.

Brent Hovest led the game off with a double and was followed by a single by Swift and a run-scoring base hit by Recker. Rob Kleman (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) followed two batters later with the second double of the inning for the guests, giving the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.

The second inning started much like the first for the visitors with Austin Horstman delivering a single and coming around to score after an error and walk brought up Swift with two on and one out. The Kalida pitcher flied out to center, allowing Horstman to tag up and score from third, making it a 4-0 ballgame.

Columbus Grove threatened in their half of the second, loading the bases with one out, but Swift got back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

The Wildcats did as they had done the previous two innings when it came to their at-bat in the third. Kehres was hit by a pitch to lead it off and scored later in the frame on a single by Horstman.

The Bulldogs had another opportunity in their half of the third. Brady Schafer singled home Brandon Benroth to get the ’Dogs on the board but the inning could have been a lot bigger. Blake Hoffman led off with a single, followed by the Benroth base-on-balls. However, Matt Jay hit a liner to short that was gloved by Trent Gerding, who then fired to second to double off Hoffman. Swift got Kody Griffith to ground out to short to end the inning with the Bulldogs leaving the bases loaded for the second consecutive inning.

The ’Cats weren’t done. Once more in the fourth, the lead batter (Hovest) reached safely with a walk, followed by a Swift single that moved Hovest from first to third. Recker flied out to center, bringing home Hovest. After a Swift steal of third, Kehres flied out to right, allowing Swift to tag and score, adding two more to the count and giving the Wildcats a 7-1 advantage.

In the bottom of the fourth, it appeared that the Grove bats were about to come alive as Josh Verhoff (2-for-3) led off with a triple and Trent Vorst (2-for-3, 1 RBI) followed with a run-scoring double. However, that is when coach McBride brought in Kehres in relief, who promptly set down the next three batters to end the threat.

Kalida added two more in the sixth on straight hits by Swift and Recker, followed by a 2-run double by Kehres to give the Wildcats a commanding 9-2 lead.

Verhoff got his second extra-base hit of the game in the sixth with a leadoff double and scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Hoffman, making it 9-3. However, the Bulldogs could do no more damage in the inning as Kehres got the last two batters.

Kalida (9)

Brent Hovest 3b 2-2-1-0, Austin Swift p/lf 4-3-3-1, Neil Recker c 4-2-2-2, Kyle Kehres lf/p 3-1-1-3, Rob Kleman 1b 4-0-2-2, Trent Gerding ss 4-0-1-0, Randy Zeller 2b 4-0-0-0, Austin Horstman rf 3-1-2-1, Adam Knueve rf 1-0-0-0, Kyle Vorst cf 4-0-0-0. Totals 33-9-12-9.

Columbus Grove (3)

Blake Hoffman cf 4-0-1-1, Brandon Benroth ss 3-1-0-0, Matt Jay c 3-0-0-0, Trey Roney p/1b 2-0-1-0, Brady Schafer rf 4-0-1-1, Mason Smith 1b/lf 2-0-0-0, Kody Griffith dh 3-0-0-0, Josh Verhoff 2b/p 3-2-2-0, Trent Vorst 3b 3-0-2-1. Totals 27-3-7-3.

Score by Innings:

Kalida 311 202 0 - 9 12 0

Col. Grove 001 101 0 - 3 7 1




Swift 3.0 2 2 4 3

Kehres (W) 4.0 1 1 1 2

Columbus Grove

Roney (L) 4.0 7 7 2 2

Verhoff 3.0 2 2 0 5

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:40 AM

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