D. Kindig: 4 RBIs at the plate, 8 Ks on the mound in win over Caston
J. Spin has 3 hits, Holderfield 3 RBIs for Comets
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FULTON — The Argos baseball team had plenty of time to warm up for their game against host Caston Tuesday.
They were waiting for Caston’s game against Pioneer to end. That game went 10 innings, and on a warm, spring night, they were ready to play by the time they took the field just past 8:30 p.m.
Dylan Kindig had two hits and four RBIs at the plate, and he also struck out eight in five innings on the mound to lead the Dragons to a 13-8 win over the Comets.
Kurt Johnson had three hits and an RBI, and Jackson Kindig, Bryce Beerwart and Jamin Trump also had two hits each. Kyle Bradley singled and walked three times and drove in two runs. Nate Manikowski went hitless but reached base four times – two walks and two hit-by-pitches.
Kole Burkholder allowed two runs (one earned) in two innings for the save. He allowed one hit, walked two and fanned four.
Joey Spin had three of Caston’s eight hits – two doubles and a single. Preston Holderfield doubled and drove in three runs, and Jackson Rentschler doubled and drove in two runs.
Holderfield’s two-out, three-run double in the fifth cut what had been a 7-3 deficit to 7-6.
But Dylan Kindig struck out Caleb Stinson with the potential tying run in scoring position to end the inning, and Burkholder pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.
In the top of the seventh, Argos scored six times to create some breathing room.
Johnson singled home a run, Manikowski walked with the bases loaded, Dylan Kindig had a two-run single, Jamin Trump had an RBI single, and Bradley had an RBI single.
“I think we were a little jumpy at first,” Argos coach Joe Kindig said. “We had to wait awhile. So I think we got a little ahead of ourselves, but after that, we settled in and everything was fine. They played a game before – 10 innings, I get it. But you know, for us, our guys, I think once they got calmed down after the start … we started to see some good longer innings with quality at-bats.”
After pitching the final six innings and earning the win in relief against Pioneer, Caston’s Talon Zeider also started and pitched two scoreless innings against Argos.
With Caston having used Joey Spin and Pete DuVall on the mound against North Judson Saturday, with Rentschler and Zeider having pitched a combined 12 innings already on the day and with Caston facing two more conference games against Culver on Thursday and Friday, Mollenkopf elected to go with Ryan Spin, Grant Yadon and Sam Smith over the final five innings.
Ryan Spin, a sophomore, was making his second career varsity pitching appearance. Yadon, a sophomore, and Smith, a senior, were both making their pitching debuts. Mollenkopf said Smith had not pitched in a competitive game since he was a sixth-grader.
That came one day after Noah Herd made his varsity pitching debut in a 6-5 win over West Central on Monday.
“Ryan and Grant both have pitched some on the JV for us this year, but they were forced into a little bit of action,” Mollenkopf said. “They’re developing as pitchers. They’re quite not ready for varsity.”
But the story might be how well Argos played.
“And I thought Argos is a much improved team this year,” Mollenkopf said. “I thought both arms they threw tonight were very solid. They’ll keep them competitive all the way through. And they hit the ball well, and they didn’t kick it around defensively a whole lot.
“They’re doing a good job over there at Argos, and they played well tonight.”
The Dragons won two games last year, but they have six and counting so far this year.
“Leadership,” coach Kindig said, when asked to explain the difference. “The seniors, we came in, kind of like with the (Chicago) Bulls miniseries, we said, ‘Guys, this is your last dance.’ A lot of these kids – Kurt, Dylan, Kole – I’ve coached them since they were knee high. Kurt and Dylan for tee-ball, Kole when he was 10. So having that rapport with them … in practice, they are definitely the leaders. They set the pace. They set the expectation, and the rest of the guys just follow. They step up.”
Argos 13, Caston 8
Argos 003 130 6 – 13 13 3
Caston 003 030 2 – 8 6 3
WP – Dylan Kindig (5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K)
LP – Ryan Spin (2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)
S – Kole Burkholder (2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)
2B – Bryce Beerwart (ARG), Adam Rush (CAS), Preston Holderfield (CAS), Jackson Rentschler (CAS), Joey Spin 2 (CAS)