Around the area, Covington Catholic senior Chris Young said people call him ‘Nine Iron’ from the mound because it’s the most reliable club from 60 feet away.
He likes to pound the zone with fastballs then throw a nasty slider. But Young said the slider hit a new level helping the host Colonels (12-4) knock off the Campbell County Camels, 9-2 at Jerry Collins Field. Young (3-2) pitched a complete game striking out eight, walking one and allowed just two earned runs in the victory.
“I want to give (junior teammate) Owen Leen a shout out,” Young said. “The pitch I was throwing was actually a window shade that I actually just worked on (Wednesday), and I picked it up. It was nasty so I decided to throw it out there. It worked pretty well.”
The Camels (15-4) won nine in a row coming into the game. They are 7-2 against Ninth Region opponents.
Then on offense, the Colonels put the leadoff hitter on base in five of the six innings as they collected 12 hits in the contest. Sophomore third baseman Marcus Suwinski belted two three-run home runs for his second and third ones of the year in addition to some web gems in the field.
“That was a pleasant, pleasant surprise,” said Bill Krumpelbeck, CovCath head coach. “These guys are young and unpredictable. When you have all these sophomores, you’re not sure what you’re getting from one day to the next.”
The Colonels had three players record multi-hit games. Junior designated hitter Charlie Dieruf went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and scored twice and senior left fielder Tyler Rennekamp went 2-for-4 with a double and scored once. Senior catcher Jonathan Fitz scored twice drawing two walks.
“I take (the leadoff) really serious. The first pitch is normally a fastball,” Dieruf said. “I like to swing at the first pitch if I can. If I see it, hit it. (Coach Krumpbelbeck) has done a great job in the offseason with base running drills. I think it’s paid off.”
Suwinski’s first blast came in the bottom of the first with two out. After Campbell County junior pitcher Chris Bramley (2-2) got senior first baseman Max Lawrie to pop out to senior second baseman Jake Gross, Suwinski belted one to center. It initially looked as though it would stay in the park, but cleared the wall in center field to put the Colonels up 3-0.
Bramley pitched the first two innings before Gross pitched the last four. Gross struck out seven and walked none. All 11 runs scored in the game were earned.
The Colonels added two in the bottom of the second to go up 5-0. Dieruf doubled in Rennekamp before scoring on a Lawrie sacrifice fly to center. Dieruf then singled in sophomore right fielder Ben McEvoy in the bottom of the fifth to put the Colonels up 6-0.
The Camels put together six hits, three of them coming in the sixth inning. Gross singled before senior shortstop Aydan Hamilton doubled him to third. Senior third baseman Evan Clark singled to center scoring them both to make it 6-2 Colonels.
Campbell County beat Scott in a district seed game Tuesday after beating 10th Region rival Harrison County on Monday. The Camels threw senior ace Max Lause then sophmore Zach Franzen came on in relief in the win over Scott. Schumacher and junior Gavin Bell pitched against Harrison County.
“I thought we came out flat,” said Scott Schweitzer, Campbell County head coach. “It’s tough to come back from (down 3-0 after one). They played tired. You have to hand it to CovCath though. They flat-out hit the holes and they hit it hard. We cruised and watched it happen.”
The Colonels put a quick end to that momentum. Freshman right fielder Tyler Schumacher grounded into a double play. Reardon threw to sophomore Alek Yuskewich at second to get Clark. Yuskewich then fired to Lawrie at first to complete it.
“That was huge,” Krumpelbeck said. “We’d been struggling with defense. We played excellent defense. It’s our first game of the year without an error. Hopefully, they’ll buy into it. I keep telling if you want to win at the end, you have to make the plays.”
Suwinski hit his second three-run blast in the bottom of the sixth. Fitz was hit by pitch then Lawrie single him to second. Suwinski’s second home run also cleared center field to make the final score.
CovCath plays host to Bishop Brossart (10-10) on Thursday at 5 p.m. Campbell County takes on Walton-Verona (12-3) in the Mike Epplen Dirty Hat Classic on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Ryle 5, Conner 4 (8 innings)
The Raiders (13-5) completed the 6-0 run through 33rd District seed play with the win at Conner (14-6). Senior third baseman Keegan Flaherty doubled home senior center fielder Landon Sawyer with two out in the top of the eighth for the game-winning run.
Flaherty went 3-for-5 with two doubles, one RBI and scored once. Sawyer went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and scored once with sophomore first baseman Dylan McIntyre going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. Junior shortstop Xavier Owens doubled and scored twice.
Senior TJ Schira pitched the first five innings for Ryle striking out seven, walking three and allowing two earned runs. Junior Maverick Rabe (2-1) pitched into the eighth earning the win before junior Caleb Mann retired two in the eighth to nail down his second save this year.
Conner has lost four in a row battling some injuries right now. Senior leadoff hitter Ayden Lohr has not played in a few weeks.
The Cougars finished with eight hits, senior right fielder Brayden Stidham went 2-for-4 with one run scored. Senior designated hitter Brody Mangold homered, driving in two and senior Cory Henson along with senior first baseman Jeffery Vest had doubles.
Senior Oliver Kerns pitched six innings for Conner, striking out three and walking five. Senior Cody Henson pitched two innings in relief taking the loss.
Ryle plays at Highlands (10-8) on Thursday at 5 p.m. Conner plays at St. Henry (5-10) on Friday at 5 p.m.
Other Baseball Scores
Beechwood 9, Bishop Brossart 5
Cooper 11, Boone County 6
Pendleton County 14, Calvary Christian 13
Simon Kenton 7, Dixie Heights 2
Highlands 11, Newport Central Catholic 5
Scott 9, Lloyd Memorial 2
Holy Cross 7, St. Henry 5
Villa Madonna 14, Dayton 1 (5 innings)
Campbell County 6, Simon Kenton 1
The Camels (11-3) honored the 1978 and 1979 slow pitch teams before the game led by head coach Margi McKenna. The 1978 team won the very first slow pitch and the first team to win a region championship over Simon Kenton. Head coach Sandi Kitchen played on those teams.
Freshman Hope Hamilton (2-2) pitched a complete game, striking out three, walking one and allowing one earned run. Then at the plate, Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a double and run batted in.
“I was hitting my spots with my fastball. I knew my changeup wasn’t working,” Hamilton said. “They kept knocking it off. I think I executed (the fastball) well. I’ve been working in the field house almost every day after school when we don’t have games.”
The Camels finished with 10 hits. Sophomore right fielder Breahna Tate went 3-for-3 with a double, one RBI and scored twice. Sophomore shortstop Moriah Price went 2-for-3 with with an RBI and sophomore left fielder Jayci Kremer added a double.
Simon Kenton Junior Landrey Dance (5-3) pitched a complete game, striking out two and walking none. Junior second baseman Addison Johnson had two of the five Pioneer hits with a double and RBI.
“Her velocity was pretty good and I didn’t know how we were going to fare in the beginning,” Kitchen said. “We’re usually pretty good coming the second time through the lineup when we’ve figured it out a little bit.”
Campbell County goes to Ryle (7-5) on Friday for a 5 p.m. game. Simon Kenton plays at Notre Dame (5-2) on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Other Softball Scores
Highlands 19, Bellvue 0 (3 innings)
Conner 10, Bishop Brossart 4
Bracken County 7, Scott 1
Beechwood 19, Holy Cross 6 (6 innings)
Williamstown 19, Ludlow 0 (4 innings)
Lloyd Memorial 16, Villa Madonna 11
Walton-Verona 19, Augusta 1 (3 innings)