Kinkead, Strunk help Tiger nine to consecutive wins

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 4/13/22

Rained out against New Haven to close the month of March, Bryce Gehlert’s Belle Tiger baseball team finally got to take the field again last Tuesday on the road against Stoutland’s …

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Kinkead, Strunk help Tiger nine to consecutive wins

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Rained out against New Haven to close the month of March, Bryce Gehlert’s Belle Tiger baseball team finally got to take the field again last Tuesday on the road against Stoutland’s Tigers.

Losing a 1-0 pitcher’s duel to Vienna the last time they played at Stoutland, Gehlert’s red and black squad entered action last Tuesday looking to snap a three-game losing streak.

Tied at 7-7 after five frames, the game eventually needed extra innings to decide a winner.

Plating four runs in the top of the ninth inning, Belle held Stoutland to two runs in the bottom of the ninth to post an 11-9 victory in nine innings.

Trailing 6-2 after three innings, Belle turned a two-out rally into a five-run top of the fourth.

A Sam Willis single and a Kameron Newton double set up two on and two out for Clayton Shockley.

A Shockley RBI single and a Carter Kinkead RBI single combined with an Isaiah Sullinger walk loaded the bases for Zane Strunk.

Facing a 1-1 count, Strunk cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double to center field scoring Shockley, Kinkead and Sullinger giving the visiting Tigers a 7-6 lead.

Stoutland tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the fifth inning with a run on a walk and an error.

Pitching a scoreless sixth and seventh inning in relief, Kale Loughridge helped Belle send the game at Stoutland into extra innings.

After a scoreless eighth inning, Belle utilized yet another two-out rally in the top of the ninth.

Glayden Woodruff led off the inning with a double before eventually scoring on a two-out RBI double by Shockley giving Belle an 8-7 lead.

Kinkead and Sullinger then both walked to once again load the bases for Strunk.

Finding a hole in right field, Strunk hit a two-RBI single scoring Shockley and Kinkead pushing Belle’s lead to 10-7.

A Kaiden Robertson RBI single scoring Strunk capped the four-run ninth inning by the visiting Tigers giving them an 11-7 lead.

After catching the first eight-plus innings, Kinkead came on in relief of Loughridge to get the final out in the bottom of the ninth inning helping preserve Belle’s extra-inning win.

Last Wednesday night, Belle once again hit the road this time for a Highway 28 showdown with Dixon’s Bulldogs in a game that was originally scheduled for Friday, April 1 but was postponed due to wet field conditions in Pulaski County.

Nursing a 4-2 lead through three frames, Belle scored five runs in the top of the fifth and sixth innings to go on to a 15-2 win over Dixon in six innings.

Sam Willis produced from the leadoff spot in the batting order with five runs scored while reaching base safely in all five of his plate appearances against Dixon.

He also drove in one of Belle’s five runs in the top of the sixth inning.

Kameron Newton had three hits late in the game including a two-RBI double in the top of the sixth inning scoring Kale Loughridge and Willis.

Shockley also had four hits against Dixon highlighted by a two-RBI double in the top of the fifth inning that scored Glayden Woodruff and Willis.

Batting in the clean-up spot of the lineup, Kinkead took that role literally.

Finishing with five hits, Kinkead duplicated Strunk’s six-RBI effort at Stoutland with a six-RBI game of his own in Dixon.

After Kinkead’s first-inning RBI single, courtesy runner Cameron Niehaus scored Belle’s third run of that inning.

Pitching five and a third innings for the win, Sullinger helped his own cause with a two-RBI double in the top of the first inning that scored Shockley and Niehaus.

Kaiden Robertson doubled and scored during Belle’s five-run top of the sixth inning.

Kale Loughridge scored a pair of runs by reaching base on errors in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Batting from the number nine spot in the order, Woodruff was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning before scoring on a Shockley two-RBI double.

Last night’s (Tuesday) home game with Laquey was postponed due to wet field conditions with Belle’s next action scheduled for Good Friday in a doubleheader at Southwest Baptist University (SBU) in Bolivar against Marion C. Early and Crocker.

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