Baseball: Kennedy moves on to semis with 6-3 win over Oakland
The Kennedy Trojans are going to get another crack at the best team in the state after claiming a 6-3 win over the Oakland Oakers in the 2018 2A/1A State Baseball Quarterfinals on Friday.
No. 5 Kennedy (23-4, 13-1 Special District 2) scored five runs in a pivotal fourth-inning offensive barrage against the No. 13 Oakers (19-10, 15-3 Special District 3) and rode a complete-game performance from senior Daniel Moreno to advance to Tuesday's semifinal game against the No. 1 Knappa Loggers (22-0, 12-0 Special District 1).
The Loggers and Trojans met earlier in the month on the final game of the regular season for both teams, with Knappa cruising to a 10-0 victory. It was one of 10 shutouts this season for the defending state champion team from Knappa, which boasts the best defense in the state at any level after surrendering just 23 runs all season. The win over Kennedy began a run of three consecutive scoreless wins the Loggers have logged throughout the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.
The Trojans are making their first semifinal appearance since winning the 2A/1A State Championship in 2012 due to some clutch hitting in the fourth hitting. Nursing a 1-0 lead, Moreno opened the inning with a one-out single to left field. Another single by John Valladares followed by a fielder's choice from Dylan Kleinschmit loaded the bases for Sam GrosJacques, who slammed the ball into left field for a double that brought all three runners home.
Bruce Beyer followed with another base hit to bring in GrosJacques and went on to score to give Kennedy a 6-0 lead before the Oakers were able to get out of the inning.
Oakland got three runs back in the top of the fifth, but the Trojans were able to stem the tide before the Oakers did any additional damage. Two more shutout innings later and Kennedy was celebrating its first quarterfinal victory in six years.
Moreno finished the game on the mound with nine hits and three walks given up in seven innings. On offense he finished 2-for-2 with a walk, run scored and an RBI in the second inning when he drove in Demetre Marseilles to give the Trojans an early 1-0 lead.
GrosJacques went 1-for-4 with his double and three RBIs.
Kennedy will play at Knappa Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.