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By Mark Jurgena
Collinsville opened its conference portion of its schedule with a shutout win followed by a shutout loss against Belleville West last week.
CHS has a 9-4 overall mark after last weekend and stood at 1-1 in SWC play.
CHS 10 West 0 (5 innings)
It was quite an opening statement.
Carter Harrington went 4 for 4 with a double, a triple and five RBI while Bryce Lemp twirled a four-hit shutout to lead Collinsville to a convincing 10-0 five-inning victory over Belleville West at Fletcher Field on April 11.
“Our offense came out hot and gave us the momentum we needed to carry through the game,” said CHS coach Brett Swip. “Led by sophomore Carter Harrington and senior Kolby Anderson it was another balanced offensive attack.”
That offensive explosion produced 12 hits on the day including six hits in a row to begin the game.
Kris Alcorn, Ethan Bagwell singled to start the game before Adam Bovinet drove home the first run with a single to left.
After Bovinet moved up a base, Kolby Anderson doubled to left to make it a 2-0 Kahok game with runners on second and third.
Bryce Lemp followed with a double to right field to score Bovinet.
Then Harrington began his day at the plate with a double to left on an 0-1 pitch to score Anderson and courtesy runner Matt Shelton to make it 5-0 Kahoks with no one out in the first.
With one out, CHS tacked on their final run of the stanza thanks to a single by Darren Pennell to make it 6-0.
In the second, CHS scratched out a run.
With the bases loaded and two outs an alert hustle play to first base by Luke Weller on a dropped third strike allowed Anderson to score to make it 7-0 Kahoks.
Meanwhile, Lemp and his defense were getting outs.
He tossed all five innings for the shutout, giving three walks and striking out six. However the Kahoks committed five errors on defense.
“Our pitching and defense were not as clean as we are used to,” said Swip. “But the fact that both our pitching and defense buckled down when they needed to and didn’t let the adversity get to them is another good sign that we are learning what it takes to be a championship-caliber program in the long run.”
CHS rounded out their scoring with three runs in the final two innings.
Lemp began the bottom of the fourth with a single and Harrington followed with a triple on the next pitch to bring home courtesy runner Matt Shelton to make it 8-0.
In the fifth, Bovinett and Anderson started the rally with a pair of walks. Courtesy runner Caden Pruitt and Anderson both advanced on a wild pitch before Harrington singled to right to bring both runners home and give CHS a fifth inning victory.
Lemp had a pair of hits including a double while Alcorn, Bagwell, Bovinett, and Pennell all had singles for the Kahoks.
West 5 CHS 0
Both squads could only muster four hits, but the Maroons capitalized on Kahok miscues to even their SWC series at one win apiece on April 13 in Belleville.
Alcorn, Bagwell, Harrington, and Luke Weller had the hits for the Kahoks.
Bagwell and Blaine Martinez pitched for CHS. They combined to give up one earned run, walked six and struck out nine.
“Thursday was a tough day for us,” said Swip. “We made some low baseball IQ decisions on defense that got us behind and then the young man pitching for Belleville West (Brayden Biggs) made it difficult for us to get anything going offensively. Our guys are committed though to learning from our losses, so we know we’ll learn from this one for sure.”
The Maroons finished the week at 10-5 overall and 1-3 in the SWC.
CHS 15 Alton (Marquette) 7
The score looks like it was a wild non-conference game on a Saturday.
Marquette took a 7-4 lead after one inning but Collinsville settled into a good pattern of tacking on runs, while the Explorers went silent on offense.
CHS banged out 12 hits including six extra base hits to take a big win at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Alton.
“We’ve set a goal to win 20 games this season,” said Swip. “To do that, we knew we would have to win games in a lot of different ways. Today was one of those different ways to win a baseball game. When your starter gives up seven runs in the first inning, it’s a new mental challenge to keep chipping away and getting back in the game. Our relievers let up no further runs the rest of the game and our offense exploded for 15 runs.”
Appropriately enough the first inning rally by the Kahoks began with an Explorer error after two outs to start the game.
Collinsville got five freebies in a row to stake themselves to a 2-0 lead.
Bagwell got it started thanks to an error followed by a pair of 3-2 walks to Alcorn and Lemp to load the bases.
Anderson followed by getting hit by a 3-1 pitch to bring home Bagwell while CJ Schaaf followed with another hit-by-pitch to bring home courtesy runner Matt Shelton.
Finally, Martinez banged a hit to left to make it 4-0 Collinsville.
However, Marquette was the recipient of five freebies and mixed in a pair of doubles to tie the game 4-4 with no one out in the bottom half of the first. With two outs they took the lead on a walk and finished the inning with a two-run single to grab the 7-4 lead.
CHS got one back in the second thanks to a walk to Bovinett and a triple to left by Alcorn to cut the lead to two.
Neither team could score in the third but CHS would fire up the big run machine from the fourth inning on.
Harrington fired it up by doubling to left on the first pitch he saw then scored on Bovinett’s single to right to make it 7-6 MCHS. Bagwell followed with a single and Alcorn reached on a hit-by-pitch.
With one out, Anderson doubled home Bagwell and Alcorn to give CHS the lead again at 8-7.
Schaaf lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Alcorn and make it a 9-7 game.
In the meantime, Ryan Kremer, Schaaf and Harrington were busy mowing down the Explorers. The trio was eventually credited with seven innings of one-hit relief while walking three and striking out four.
Collinsville tacked on two runs in each of the final three innings to secure the victory.
In the fifth, Lemp singled home Bagwell and Alcorn to make it 11-5 then Harrington blasted a home run to center to score Pruitt in the sixth to make it an eight run advantage.
Finally, Jace Madura scored on a wild pitch before Anderson smacked an RBI single to score Alcorn for the final run.
Harrington, Bagwell, Alcorn, Anderson, and Martinez all produced two hits with Anderson driving home four runs. Harrington, Lemp, and Schaaf had two RBI apiece.
Marquette is 11-6 on the season.
The Kahoks hosted Florissant, Mo. (Gateway Legacy Christian) on Monday before traveling Tuesday to Edwardsville for an SWC tilt.
They traveled to Breese (Mater Dei) yesterday.
None of those results were available at press time
Collinsville hosts Edwardsville today then faces Waterloo on Tuesday at Fletcher Field.