PHS baseball took a double header Friday at Kingman 12-2 and 22-3.
On paper, it should have been closer. When Pratt High baseball traveled to Kingman last Friday for a doubleheader, most were expecting tough, tense games in the renewal of a rivalry in which no love is lost. Pratt was undefeated, Kingman was 5-1. It looked like a prospective nail-biter between two good ball clubs.
But it was basically no contest as PHS routed Kingman in run-rule fashion in both ends of the twin bill, 12-2 in the opener and 22 (not a misprint)-3 in the nightcap.
The Eagles had perhaps run into a perfect storm of motivated Frogs, as Kingman had gotten the better of Pratt in their football and basketball matchups this year. And PHS head baseball coach Ron Hill had visited with the Greenbacks about continuing to play hard even when way ahead on the scoreboard, so as not to let opponents sneak back into the contest.
Taking that lesson to heart, the Greenbacks seemed determined to keep the pedal to the metal all day, and the result was a pair of lopsided wins by Pratt over Kingman.
Kaden Evert started on the slab for Pratt in game one and held the Eagles bats in check, allowing just 2 runs. Meanwhile, his teammates were scoring early and often and after 5 innings, were ahead 12-2- good for a run-rule victory. Lead-off man Landen Studer scored 3 times, playing his role as offensive catalyst to the hilt.
Grant Bolen pitched a complete game to pick up the win in the nightcap, giving up just 3 runs.
It was snowing runs for Pratt, meanwhile, as the Greenbacks posted “snowmen” in two different innings (8 runs).
The 4th inning was representative of the PHS offensive onslaught on the day. Zach Shanline walked to begin the inning and Travis Theis took one for the team. Justin Lamatsch reached on a Kingman miscue to load the bases. Bolen helped his own cause with a 2-RBI single. Evert followed with a double, and Wyatt Schrag and Hunter Huber each singled.
Even the first out of the inning was a productive one as Nate Kolm hit a sac fly for an RBI. After pop-out, Shanline picked up his second BB of the inning. Theis followed with a 2-RBI knock and Lamatsch carded a base hit before the final out was recorded.
PHS had sent 13 men to the plate, scoring 8 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, a beaning and an error. With this having been their second 8-run frame of the contest, Pratt was firmly in control.
Trailing 17-1 to the bottom of the fourth, Kingman scraped together a couple of runs to stave off the 15-run rule. But that only served to let Pratt have another turn at the plate, in which they poured across 5 more runs. Bolen set the Eagles down in the bottom of the fifth and this time, the 10-run rule was in effect. PHS won 22-3.
“I was really proud of the kids today,” Coach Hill said. “Kingman is a good team, probably the best team we’ve played so far this year.”
“But our kids had a really good approach at the plate,” Hill explained. “We had a lot of two-strike hits.”
With the wins, PHS improves to 8-0 on the season. They will host Hillsboro on Friday at Smoky Ford Field.