Hard-hitting Kennedy High had no trouble in its quest for the 4-A City title Thursday, as the Golden Cougars easily defeated Reseda, 12-1, in the first round of the playoffs at Kennedy.
Kennedy scored at least one run in each inning. Not only did the Golden Cougars hit well, but they played well defensively--when they got a chance. Pitcher Eric Evans really didn’t give the fielders many opportunities to show their stuff as he struck out three, walked two and gave up only three hits and one run.
Evans, a junior, leads the City with an 0.97 earned-run average and an 8-2 record in the regular season. In 64 innings, Evans has given up only nine earned runs.
Kennedy Coach Dick Whitney aptly summed up Thursday’s game in one sentence: “Eric Evans threw another one-hitter.”
Evans’ control on the mound contrasted with Reseda starter Robert Wheatcroft, who gave up 9 hits, 10 runs and walked 6 in five innings. Fans’ cries of “Wheatie, Wheatie,” might well have been a suggestion for Wheatcroft to change his morning routine to include the breakfast of champions.
Kennedy jumped out, 2-0, in the first inning when third baseman Kevin Farlow hit a home run to center field that brought in designated-hitter Greg Synnott, who had walked and stolen second. In the second inning, the Golden Cougars’ Cory Holst singled to right fielder Scott Schaeffer, who missed on a diving catch, and Todd Davis came in to make it 3-0.
Kennedy scored two more in the third. With no outs and bases loaded, designated-hitter Bill Picketts knocked in Synnott with a sacrifice fly. Synnott had walked and advanced to third on a Farlow double. Farlow, on the next play, scored on Davis’ hit.
At the top of the fourth, with two outs and runners on second and third, Reseda brought in pinch-hitter Alan Gindlespeger, who doubled to score Danny Dizacomo.
Kennedy followed in the bottom of the fourth with two more runs, bringing the score to 7-1. At three different times in the fourth, Kennedy loaded the bases. Paul Plyler singled before Doug Anderson hit a grounder to second base, which the Regents’ shortstop Donnie Grant grabbed, but he failed to touch the base, advancing Plyler to second and Anderson to first. On the next play, Synnott, who batted .446 in the regular season, hit a line drive by third base to load the bases.
Farlow, who batted .455 in the regular season, singled to third, but Plyler was caught out at home. Left fielder Joe Yurosek followed with a hit to right-center field that scored Anderson and Synnott.
In the fifth, Kennedy continued to hit to right center with similarly successful results. With two outs and runners at first and second, Anderson hit a home run to right center, clearing the bases--and the mound. Reseda promptly relieved a weary Wheatcroft with pitcher Paul Varner, who proceeded to strike out the next--and last--batter.
In the sixth, it was more of the same for Kennedy, and unfortunately, for Reseda. The Golden Cougars scored two runs off Varner, again on a hit to right center, bringing the score to 12-1.