Kahoks edge Althoff in 10 innings

News-DemocratMarch 27, 2014 

— In a game where fielding miscues and other mistakes created chances for both teams Wednesday, the Collinsville Kahoks finally put an end to their 10-inning marathon baseball session with Althoff.

The Kahoks survived Althoff's seven-run fifth inning and managed to win 8-7 on a two-out RBI single by Aaron Peskar in the bottom of the 10th.

It was Peskar's third hit on a cool, windy day that felt a lot more like November than late March.

Collinsville (4-0) led 4-0 with ace Tanner Houck on the mound, but Althoff knocked the Missouri recruit and pro prospect out of the game with a seven-run uprising in the fifth aided by four errors and two wild pitches.

To that point the Crusaders (1-1) had only one hit while striking out seven times.

Collinsville senior Kyle Reeves had a lot to say about the final outcome, including forcing extra innings with a sacrifice fly in the seventh that tied it 7-7.

The left-hander also pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout relief, allowing only two hits while striking out five. He added an RBI double in the third.

"Kyle came in a did a great job," Collinsville coach Pete Trapp said. "He pounded the zone and we made some plays, which we didn't earlier in the game. 'Our kids found a way to battle. You're up by four and you feel good about yourself and you're kind of patting yourself on the back, life is great.

"The next thing you know life stinks and you're down by three runs."

With reliever Josh Davinroy on the mound for Althoff in the 10th, the Kahoks took advantage of an infield error, hit batsman and a walk to load the bases.

The Crusaders got a force at home for the second out, but Peskar drove a single past third base for the game-winner.

"Our guys showed a lot of character in coming back," Trapp said. "Althoff did a great job of putting the ball in play and making people make a play. In high school baseball when you do that, good things happen --and it did for them."

Houck is a hard-throwing 6-foot-5 right-hander whose first start this season attracted 19 major league scouts. They watched him hit 94 mph and throw consistently between 89-91 mph, according to Trapp.

At least 10 scouts were on hand Wednesday at Fletcher Field and Houck lit up the radar guns early before running into trouble in the fifth.

Back-to-back errors set things in motion, but a walk, a two-run single by Althoff's Collin McClellan and RBI double by Ben Hankammer helped fuel the rally.

"I think Tanner was a little geeked up, maybe a little too much, but he'll get better," Trapp said. "He's a kid that knows what he needs to do and he'll look back on this and figure out what things went wrong.

"It should have been two outs with the No. 9 hitter up. Instead it's second and third with no one out and it's a lot different."

Althoff's Grant Strieker drove in another run in the fifth with a squeeze bunt. Four of the seven runs were earned and two scored on wild pitches.

"That's what I'm really proud about," Althoff coach Brett Isaacs said. "A lot of times, teams will look at that 4-0 deficit against a pitcher like that as a mountain. We stayed with a good approach and we wanted to keep battling, and we had enough confidence that we could do it. We did enough good things to get the lead."

Getting the lead wasn't enough as the Kahoks pushed across a run in the sixth on a wild pitch and another in the seventh to tie it.

"We had a couple chances later and just couldn't get that extra run," Isaacs said. "They kind of inched their way back to us and we didn't make enough plays down the stretch, either. They threatened quite a bit there at the end and sooner or later a good team's going to break through."

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or follow him on Twitter: @NormSanders

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