PITCHING, DEFENSE SEND KUEMPER OVER CHEROKEE, 3-0
Carroll Kuemper Catholic starting pitcher Chris Halbur went the distance on the mound, throwing a complete game, five-hit shutout as the Knights blanked Cherokee 3-0 in the third class 2A quarterfinal Monday night at Principal Park.
Halbur (10-1) picked up his tenth victory on the season and didn’t allow a run to score. The freshman only gave up five hits, all singles, and faced the minimum over his last five innings. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
The game remained a scoreless tie until the bottom of the fourth as both pitchers were locked in on the mound.
Ethan Schoeppner led of Kuemper’s half of the fourth and reached base on a dropped third strike by Cherokee catcher Kyle Schuck. Schoppner promptly moved to second on a sacrifice from first baseman Kent Knobbe and scored one batter later on Bryce Berg’s RBI double to put the Knights up 1-0.
The Braves looked to put up a run of their own in the fifth and were in great position after Adam Pitts singled to lead off and Zac Woods reached on an error by Schoppner. Their opportunity was squashed though on a great defensive play by the Knights infield. With runners at first and second and no outs, shorstop Matt Pitts softly lined a ball to the infield which was caught on a diving catch by Halbur. Halbur quickly tossed to second base to double off Pitts and Schoppner threw to first to double off Woods to complete the 1-6-3 triple play.
Kuemper steadily grew their lead, scoring a run in the fifth on an RBI triple from Kyle Pudenz and another run in the sixth on a two-error play from the Braves.
Cody Ege (5-2) started for Cherokee and gave up five hits, three runs (one earned) over six innings. The Louisville recruit walked one and struck out nine. The Braves end their season at 17-14.
Kuemper Catholic improved to 26-9 on the season and will advance to the semifinals and play Davis County on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Principal Park.
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