PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

April 15, 2014

Kemp, Bulldogs muzzle Indians

PORT NECHES — Someone keeps forgetting to remind Chase Kemp he is still a young freshman.

Ninth graders don’t go into The Reservation and two hit the Indians and strike out seven.

Nederland’s No. 19 did Tuesday and the Bulldogs have gone from 1-3 in District 20-4A to tied with Port Neches-Groves for first with a 8-3 record.

Kemp went 6.1 innings and had thrown 91 pitches before leaving the game with one out in the seventh with the bases loaded.

Carter Henry and Chase Woods drew back-to-back walks after Kemp started the inning off with a strike out of Michael Hughes.

A wild pitch then advanced the runners and Nederland coach Cody Robbins elected to intentionally walk Lance LeDoux.

Enter Korey Clark for the Bulldogs.

Clark, a senior, backed up his young puppy teammate by striking out Ryan Leckich and then getting Jacob Underhill to ground out to Colton Broussard at third. Broussard made a great running throw to Kemp at first to end the game.

“That was just a typical PN-G versus Nederland baseball game,” Robbins said. “I felt coming in it would be a one-run game. I knew it would be that with Leckich and Kemp both on the mound. My hat once again goes off to Kemp. He has been huge during this seven-game winning streak and his demeanor didn’t change one bit tonight.”

Kemp after giving up his first hit with two outs in the second inning recorded 12 straight outs until Skylar Finn singled in the bottom of the sixth.

“Port Neches-Groves is a good team and they fought tonight,” Kemp said. “I noticed PN-G was not being patient at the plate and that opened things up for me on the mound. Nerves did set in during the seventh inning. Korey came in and saved my butt.”

Clark said he noticed from first base that PN-G batters were not watching many pitches. It helped when it was his time on the hill.

“I noticed they were not being patient so it allowed me to just throw strikes,” Clark said. “I am so proud of where this team is at now. We cut out the errors that were killing us early in the year and our bats have come around.”

Nederland was held to only three hits Tuesday. Leckich threw six innings and gave up five walks and three hits with seven strike outs.

The Bulldogs run came in the top of the fourth. Colby Price led off with a walk and four batters later Austin Krautz hit a RBI single.

Price scored from second even though Krautz’s hit was hit to shallow left. The throw was off line and Robbins’ gamble to send the runner with two outs paid off.

“Austin really came through with the big hit,” Robbins said. “We took a chance right then and it worked out. Now it is up to this team to stay focused. Yes, tonight we beat PN-G but that isn’t where we want to stop. When we were 1-3 this team realized we were capable of so much more. We just have to keep earning these wins.”

A total of 22 PN-G batters saw five pitches or less when at the plate Tuesday. It was the difference in the game, according to PN-G coach Scott Carter.

“We swung at a lot of bat pitches tonight,” Carter said. “You do that and you will not be very good. Give all the credit to Kemp. He did a great job on the mound for those guys. We have been patient in the past but this was just one of those games. It was a good baseball game between two good teams. They took a chance on that scoring play and it worked out for them.”

PN-G will try to get back to its winning ways Thursday with a road trip to Vidor. Nederland will be at home Thursday against Beaumont Ozen.

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