Kern Valley drops two games to begin year

By Ray Conner
Sports Editor

Kern Valley’s varsity baseball couldn’t muster up much of an offense which led to a pair of losses to begin the season.

Kern Valley played Kennedy at home to open up the year and followed with an away game against Foothill. In both games the Broncs managed to score just two runs. The weather has played havoc on spring sports teams getting in the extra practice time they might need to get their season going.

Against the Kennedy Thunderbirds, a five-run third inning was the difference in the game. All five runs were unearned as the Broncs committed two errors in the inning.

Kern Valley was ahead 1-0 as the teams entered the top of the third. The Thunderbirds drove past Kern Valley with the five runs to make it 5-1. The Broncs got one back in the fifth, but Kennedy responded in the top of the six with one more run. The Broncs had no answer and the game went to Kennedy 6-2.

Despite allowing just three hits to their opponents, the Broncs pitchers walked nine batters. Creating a logjam of base runners for the Thunderbirds.

Kern Valley’s offense struggled to get off the ground as they were limited to two hits. The Broncs were also issued nine walks but could not take advantage.

Leading the way for Kern Valley was Nick Thomas with one hit, a double. Adam Virto picked up the other hit for the Broncs. Vincent Pearman and Virto were credited with one RBI apiece.

On the hill to start was Damon Sage. He went two innings giving up no hits and no runs. He walked two and struck out four batters.

Next up was Tyler Strange (0-1). He pitched two innings allowing the three hits and the five unearned runs. He walked four and struck out one. Kieran McCarthy worked one and two-thirds innings. He would give up no hits and one run. He walked two and struck out one. Finishing up for Kern Valley was Spenser Hansen. He went one third of an inning striking out one and walking one.

Head coach Mike Genthner said, “We had a poor third inning and that was the difference in the game. We made two errors and walked four batters in the inning and Kennedy took advantage with timely hits.”

The second game of the week, the Broncs surrendered 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning to Foothill.

The Broncs defensively committed seven errors that allowed nine-of-the 10 runs to be unearned.

The Trojans made it stand up the rest of the way. The final score was 10-2 giving the Broncs a two-game losing streak to begin the season.

Kern Valley scored both of their runs in the third inning, but that would be the extent of their offense.

The Broncs as a team were set down on strikes nine times adding to the offensive woes.

Kern Valley was held to six hits. The six hits were evenly distributed to six different Broncs players. Of the six hits, only one went for extra bases.

Sage had a double for the lone extra base hit. He would also drive in one of the Broncs runs. Kenny Porter had one hit and knocked in the other run for the Broncs. Thomas, Hansen, Ryan Walker and Strange had one hit apiece to close out the Broncs offense in the contest.

Hansen (0-1) was saddled with the loss. He went one-third of an inning. He allowed eight runs, seven were unearned on no hits. He walked three and struck out one.

McCarthy was up next and tossed one and two-thirds innings. He gave up two unearned runs on no hits. He walked three and set three opponents down on strikes. Strange got the next call to pitch for Kern Valley. He went three innings and did not give up a hit. He walked two and struck out seven. Finishing up was Thomas with one inning of relief. He allowed one hit, walked none and struck out two.

Genthner said, “The first inning was a nightmare. Foothill sent 14 hitters to the plate, they had no hits, didn’t even hit the ball out of the infield and still scored 10 runs. On the bright side, Foothill had one hit, didn’t score after the first inning and everyone got to play.”

Kern Valley played Trona on Tuesday and will play Summit today if the next approaching storm holds out.

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