PREP BASEBALL: Golden Aces break out bats against North Posey
MOUNT CARMEL — After losing eight straight games, the Mount Carmel Golden Aces wanted a victory in any way they possibly could get one.
MCHS (4-12 overall) built a 10-1 lead against North Posey through three innings and was ahead 12-5 with two outs in the top of the fifth, when Mother Nature decided to interfere Friday at Dee Smith Field.
Lightning caused a delay before game officials called off the contest. The only thing was that the game was still an out away from being considered an official contest.
“We’ll take it,” Mount Carmel head coach Shea Smith said. “Our defense played good, and that means our players are giving themselves a chance to compete. We have eight games left in the regular season. Let’s see what happens.”
The MCHS defense has struggled to make plays this season, committing 30 errors in its last nine games. However, the Golden Ace’s fielding has been better of late with two errors against the Vikings and no miscues in a 2-0 loss Wednesday at Richland County.
Evan Kieffer sparked the Golden Ace’s offensive attack with three hits, including a second-inning three-run homer, that led to him finishing with five RBI. He also had a single in the first and added a two-run double in the third.
Kieffer said Mount Carmel worked on its hitting in the batting cage at practice Thursday.
“It was nice to slow down (Thursday) and not have every hit be in a game,” said Kieffer, who helped MCHS generate 10 hits Friday. “We were able to work on our swings and any other stuff we might have been doing wrong at the plate. We had a day to fix the ball on a tee and get our mindset back.”
Kieffer said the pitch he hit for the home run was a curveball that hung up in the strike zone. Then, he hammered it.
Smith said he noticed some differences in his players approach at the plate.
“The first time through the lineup, we were having a good approach, but then it changed later in games,” Smith said. “We talked about remaining consistent at the plate and, today, it looked a lot better.”
The Golden Aces took control with two outs in the second. With Hunter Fuller at third and Aden Gill standing on second, a wild pitch from Brandon Hammon plated Fuller.
After a walk to Bret Doan, Kieffer came up and blasted a three-run homer that handed Mount Carmel a 4-0 lead.
The Vikings got a run back in the third as Seth Morrow scored on Jarrett Motz’s sharply-hit line drive that Fuller caught in left field.
Mount Carmel used a six-run third to go ahead 10-1. Fuller singled and eventually came home on an error, Doan walked with the bases loaded to force in Cade Newkirk, Kieffer’s two-run double chased home Gill and Jose Mercado, Jake Hocking used a groundout to plate Doan and Blake Kight drove in Kieffer with an RBI single.
North Posey rallied in the fourth on the strength of Dalton Rankin’s two-run homer and Wes Voegel’s two-run single.
The final two runs for the Golden Aces came in the fourth as Fuller scored on another wild pitch and Hocking drew a bases-loaded walk.
Doan pitched four innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits with two walks and no strikeouts.
Mount Carmel plays a Big Eight Conference game at Princeton at 5 p.m. Monday.