Keota boys respond from shutout with big win over EV

Justin Moeller was able to leg it out to first and beat the throw for an infield single against English Valleys. He finished the game with two hits, two runs and two RBI in the 11-1 win for the Eagles.

Keota was able to pick up an important win over English Valleys on May 23 after being shutout in a tough game the day prior. The bats came alive early against EV and Keota never looked back, winning the game 11-1.

    The Eagles put up three runs early in the first inning to help one of their youngest guys on the roster, who was starting on the mound. With a padded lead, it took some pressure off Carson Sprouse who was starting his first game of the season, a freshman in the third spot in the pitching rotation. He didn’t allow much to happen for EV, pitching into the beginning of the sixth inning before being lifted. In those five innings of work, Sprouse gave up five hits and allowed one run to score and struck out four Bears.

    “We had better pitch selection by not swinging at pitches around our shoulders. Our guys made the adjustments needed after figuring out where the zone was,” Eagles coach Tanner McClenahan said. “Our pitching was efficient which kept our infielders interested and talking and moving.”

    Run support wasn’t an issue for Keota, scoring at least one run in every inning but the third. Austin Waterhouse led the way with four hits in his four at-bats, two of which went for doubles. One of the few seniors, Cole Brenneman, was another offensive leader and finished with four runs batted in. Once the bats got going, the momentum continued by scoring multiple runs at times and increasing their lead.

    “We’re hitting the ball hard and getting line drives, not many pop-ups,” McClenahan said. “That was really good to see from our guys.”

    Sprouse was lifted in the beginning of the sixth inning, with bases loaded and no outs. McClenahan turned to one of his star relievers JD Stout to finish out the game. He was able to get them out of the jam, without allowing any runs to score. He tossed a perfect seventh inning as well, not allowing a hit or walk and striking out three in his two innings of work.

    “JD is really ready for those situations,” McClenahan said. “I figured out last year I should have brought him on in more situations last year. He’s been efficient and tough to hit so far. He doesn’t overthink it.”

    Keota leaders: Austin Waterhouse – 4 hits, Cole Brenneman – 4 RBI, Austin Waterhouse – 3 runs, Tyler Waterhouse/JD Stout – 1 SB

    Keota wrapped up its first week of play and fourth game in five days when they hosted Sigourney at home on May 25.