Spartans rout Wildcats to start the week strong

 ELK HORN (June 21) -- Following an 0-4 week from June 14-18, the Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton baseball team opened the current week in strong fashion Monday night, scoring eight fourth-inning runs and defeating Glidden-Ralston 15-1 in five to sweep the season series.
 Junior Tyler Kingery pitched an abbreviated two-hitter for the Spartans, using primarily a high-velocity fastball to strike out 12 Wildcats. He issued just one walk and also hit one batter, improving to 3-1 on the year.
 Offensively, Exira-EHK had six hits and drew 10 walks while being hit-by-pitch three times against G-R pitchers Caden Smith, Caden Wenck and Andrew Bennett.
 Hunter Andersen went 2-for-4 and Derrek Kommes hit a two-run double to lead the Spartans, who showed good patience at the plate as the Wildcats struggled to throw strikes.
 “I don’t want them swinging at bad pitches to develop bad habits,” said E-EHK coach Tom Petersen. “I’m just happy to get the week started off correctly. I was not happy a week ago. I felt that we just let some things slip away from us as a baseball team and we’ve got to get going on the right track. The postseason is right around the corner.
 “We’ve just still got to do a better job of putting the ball in play.”
 Petersen continues to be pleased by the pitching of Kingery, who threw hard and kept the ball down while overpowering most of G-R’s lineup with about 85 percent fastballs Monday.
 “Tyler Kingery threw really well tonight,” Petersen said. “Right now he’s our ace. He’s been throwing really well for us, and we seem to be a little bit better when he or Tyler (Petersen) are on the mound... Just more consistency. The other ones are coming.
 “(Kingery is) throwing harder than what he did a year ago, and the good thing about him is 90 percent of the time the ball is down by the knees, so that’s what you have to do to be successful.”
 After taking a 1-0 lead on Andersen’s RBI single in the first, the Spartans scored four second-inning runs without a hit as Smith lost his command. There were six walks in the inning and all four runs scored on wild pitches.
 Exira-EHK added two more runs in the third - once again without a hit - to make it 7-0 and blew the game open in the fourth when Andersen, Dane Paulsen and Trey Petersen had RBI singles in addition to Kommes’ two-run double.
 Jameson Kilworth, Tyler Petersen, Dane Paulsen, Kommes and Kingery all scored two runs.
 The Spartans lost 10-4 at ACGC Tuesday night but rallied back from an 8-1 deficit Wednesday to defeat Ar-We-Va 10-8.

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