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By Mark Jurgena
It was a tough week for the Collinsville High School baseball team as they picked up one victory in three contests.
The Kahoks beat Florissant, Mo. (Gateway Legacy Christian) before dropping their Southwestern Conference series against Edwardsville.
Collinsville had a 10-6 record overall entering this week. They were 1-3 in SWC play and tied with Alton for fourth place. Belleville East led the SWC at 4-0.
CHS 18 Gateway Legacy 16
Due to recent rains, Collinsville needed a game and Gateway Legacy was a willing opponent.
What a wild game that was!
Gateway ambushed Collinsville to begin the April 17 game at Fletcher Field with a pair of doubles and a home run to start the contest and went on to claim a 6-0 lead after the top of the first.
And that was just the beginning.
The see-saw battle ended with 34 runs, 26 hits, and the potential tying run flying out to centerfielder Kolby Anderson to finish the contest.
“Although the score looked like a football game, I promise it was a baseball game,” said Collinsville coach Brett Swip. “It was great to pick up a game last night. We’ve been hit with many rainouts and canceled games so it gave our bullpen an opportunity to get innings and it gave our bats an opportunity to get reps. Positive experience for sure!”
Anderson was a key cog for Collinsville’s offense going 3 for 3 with a double and four RBI while Carter Harrington, Ethan Bagwell and CJ Schaaf all had multiple hit games.
Schaaf had a three-run home run to tie the game 12-12 in the fourth then Harrington gave CHS the lead for good with a two-run triple in the same inning.
The big eight-run fourth followed a five run outburst to tie the game at 7-7 after three.
In that inning, Harrington and Adam Bovinett both walked before Bagwell’s single brought home Harrington.
After a walk to Bryce Lemp, Bovinett scored on a passed ball to make it 7-4 Lions with runners on second and third.
Anderson then stepped to the plate and doubled to center to make it 7-6 Gateway.
Schaaf was hit by a pitch before Blaine Martinez singled to load the bases. Caden Pruitt then tied the game 7-7 with a ground out to third.
The Lions answered back in the top of the fourth with a grand slam to center by Issac Fernandez and an RBI single by Jaymeson Forest to reclaim a 12-7 lead.
But that outburst was answered by a huge eight-run answer by the Kahoks in the bottom half.
Harrington got things in motion with a single and stole second prior to a Bovinett walk. Bagwell followed with a run scoring single to make it 12-8.
With one out Lemp was hit by a pitch to runners at first and second before Anderson singled home Bagwell to bring Collinsville within three runs and set the stage for Schaaf’s big blast.
The senior smacked a 3-2 pitch over the fence in center to tie the game at 12-12.
But the home run wasn’t a rally killer.
CHS started up again with a four-pitch walk to Pruitt and Luke Weller reached on an error to put runners on first and second.
Harrington stepped to the plate and hammered his fourth triple of the season scoring two runs and giving the Kahoks a 14-12 lead.
CHS tacked on three runs over the next two innings on a passed ball, an error and an RBI hit by pitch of Martinez.
Gateway wouldn’t go away and picked up four runs in the top of the seventh before the final out was made.
In addition to Anderson’s four RBI, Schaaf had three while Harrington and Bagwell each had two. Pruitt had the final Kahok RBI.
Harrington scored five runs from his leadoff spot in the order.
Mason Hartmann picked up the win on the mound for CHS. He stabilized the contest throwing the final 3.2 innings giving up four runs – three of which were earned – walked one, and struck out four.
Edwardsville 9 CHS 3
Collinsville answered every Edwardsville score until the Tigers took an 8-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. They tacked on one in the sixth to complete the scoring and take game one at home in their SWC series on April 18.
“Tough loss tonight,” said Swip. “While there were some small victories in the box score, our guys aren’t celebrating any of them. We came out flat, we missed some early opportunities with runners in scoring position, and we weren’t sharp early on the mound. It happens, we’ll learn, but it’s time to keep making strides.”
The Tigers began the game with a big three-run bottom of first to take a 3-0 lead but CHS answered with a single tally in the second.
Anderson led off with a walk and stole second. He advanced when Lemp pulled a ground ball to second and came home on Luke Weller’s ground out to make it 3-1.
Trailing 4-1 in the third, Collinsville loaded the bases on a pair of walks to Darren Pennell and Kris Alcorn and a bunt single by Harrington. Bagwell drove home Pennell with a single to right.
Then trailing 5-2 in the fourth, Anderson led off with a double and moved to third on another ground ball to second by Lemp before scoring on a ground out by Schaaf to make it 5-3.
Edwardsville tacked on four runs from there to take the 9-3 win.
Bagwell had three hits while Harrington had a pair. Anderson had the final hit for CHS.
Lemp took the loss on the mound going four innings scattering three hits. He gave up five runs walked five and struck out four.
Edwardsville 12 CHS 0 (5 innings)
Due to possible inclement weather, the second game of the series was moved up to April 19 in Collinsville and it didn’t go well for the purple and white.
“We didn’t compete as we expected to,” said Swip on Thursday. “The game sped up on us. But, there’s no time to hold our heads down from it, it’s about our response to it and that response begins with practice today and tomorrow.”
The Kahoks only managed a pair of hits by Bagwell on the afternoon.
Bagwell took the loss on the mound lasting 2.1 innings and giving up four hits six earned runs and walking six while striking out seven.
Collinsville hosted Waterloo on Tuesday however results were unavailable at press time.
The Kahoks play at Breese (Mater Dei) today before playing at Busch Stadium against St. Louis (John Burroughs) on Saturday.