KALIDA, OH – It took his team six innings to warm up offensively but Kalida righthander Owen Recker was white hot early and throughout the game Monday night as he helped his team to a 4-1 win over visiting Continental in Putnam County League action.
Holy Name Ballpark has seen some tremendous pitching performances over the years but as accomplished as Wildcat pitching has been in the past only Brian Klausing, Chad Ehrnsberger, and William Stechschulte have accomplished what Owen Recker did during this outing as he retired 19 Pirate hitters via strikeout.
With the contest scoreless into the fourth inning and just one hit (a double by Kalida’s Derek Buss), Continental pitcher Brady Dockery found himself issued the second free pass from Recker to give the visitors a runner at first. By virtue of a stolen base Dockery found himself as second and would remain there for two batters until Jacob Williams singled him in to give the Pirates a 1-0 advantage.
Kalida had their chances in the third and fourth innings to bring in the tying run but saw both come to an end via a flyball for their third out of each frame.
After seeing Recker sit down the Continental top three hitters in the top of the sixth for strikeouts 13/14/15 the Wildcats went to work on the basespaths in the bottom half of the inning and picked up a tie and their first lead of the contest.
Derek Buss who had reached early in the game for one of the two Wildcat hits, reached again as this time hit was a victim of an errant pitch from Dockery. With an error allowing Buss’ pinch runner to move over, Jeffery Knueve recorded his 10th RBI of the year when he singled in the tying run with no outs.
Back to back singles from Trevor Lambert and Kevin Hamburg put a pair of runners on the basepaths for the Wildcats with no outs before Recker helped out his own cause by being walked with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead run. In all Kalida would send eight hitters to the plate in the inning and see four come around to score as they pushed their advantage to 4-1 after six innings.
Despite the last two hitters reaching full counts, all three hitters for Continental in the top half of the seventh inning were retired via the strikeout and helped Recker complete the 19 strikeout outing and earn his third victory of the season.
The last time Continental was victorious against Kalida came in 1988, 30 games ago now in the series.
Continental sees their season record fall to 1-6 overall, and 0-3 in Putnam County League games. The Pirates will be back in action on Tuesday night as they travel to Paulding for a non-conference tilt.
Kalida (6-5, 3-0) keeps their defense of their PCL title perfect with the win and will travel to Lima to do battle with Lima Central Catholic on Tuesday before county battles with OG on Thursday, and Columbus Grove on Friday.
WP: Owen Recker (3-2): 7IP, 1R, 1H, 19K, 2BB
LP: Brady Dockery (1-2): 6IP, 4R, 4H, 4K, 4BB
Jacob Williams (Cont): 1/3, 1H, 1RBI
Jeffery Knueve (Kalida): 1/3, 1H, 1RBI, 1R
Kevin Hamburg (Kalida): 2/3, 1R