MOVILLE -- In baseball, there is nothing better than beating an arch rival. In Kingsley-Pierson's case, that rival is Woodbury Central. K-P battled the Wildcats Tuesday night in Moville and had a 10-2 lead at one point in the game. The Wildcats roared back and tied the game in the seventh inning 11-11. K-P, however, regained their composure and pulled it out 12-11 in eight innings.
The Panthers were up 3-2 going into the fourth inning when Seth Rohde hit a two-run home run and Brandon Schmid had a two-RBI double as K-P scored five runs to take a 8-2 lead.
After K-P scored two more runs in the fifth, Woodbury Central scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to narrow the gap to 10-7. The Panthers added another run in the sixth, but the Wildcats scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth and one in the seventh to tie the game at 11-11.
K-P head coach Dean Harpenau said Woodbury Central could have won the game in the seventh inning.
"I was real happy with how we responded, especially when they had a guy at third with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh. We had a comeback to the pitcher, checked the guy at third-he went back so that's one out. Then we had the infield in on the grass and we had a sharp ground ball to first, fielded it cleanly, looked home, touched the bag-two outs," Harpenau said. "Then we got a fly ball to end the inning. That was pretty monumental. They had a guy on third with nobody out and couldn't get the run in. I give the kids a lot of credit."
In the top of the eighth, Eric Sitzmann hit a single and then stole second. The ball went into centerfield and Sitzmann was off for third. The centerfielder threw the ball over the third baseman's head and it went out of the ball park. Sitzmann came in and scored on the centerfielder's error and then Allen Leekley pitched a scoreless eighth for K-P to help the Panthers get the victory.
Harpenau said no lead is safe in Moville.
"We have had a lot of wild games in that ballpark. It's a small ballpark. It's easy to have a three or four run shift just because it's only 290 down the lines of the field. We knew a six or seven run lead is not safe," Harpenau said. "The thing I'm really impressed with was they held their composure. It's a big rival between Woodbury Central and K-P. The big thing is the the first game it's 2-1 Woodbury Central. This it's 12-11 us. We get to play these guys in the first round of Districts. This gives our guys a big boost."
Offensively, K-P had 11 hits. Isiah Corbin was 3-for-6, Austin Carlson went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Rohde contributed going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, Kirby Washburn was 1-for-5 with an RBI, Brandon Schmid had a double while Matt Christensen and Sitzmann each had singles.
Jeff Engle pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three batters. Leekley pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out two batters.
Next up for K-P (5-7 in the Maple Valley conference, 8-10 overall) is Lawton-Bronson Friday, June 25 in Lawton.