Chase Kemp slams, Conner wins on mound as Mid-County goes to 2-0

Published 4:38 pm Sunday, August 6, 2017

By Steven Smith

Special to The News

EPHRATA, Wash. – One Kemp kept his team in the ballgame. The other Kemp gave his team the win.

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Chase Kemp blasted a grand slam home run, and younger brother Conner Kemp got the win on the pitcher’s mound as the Mid-County baseball team defeated Primetime Baseball of Vancouver, Washington. The 6-1 win came in MC’s second pool play game at the 2017 Senior Babe Ruth World Series at Johnson-O’Brien Stadium.

Mid-County is now 2-0 in National Division play in the series as they head into a day off on Monday. The Texans will play both of their final two pool games at 1 p.m. CDT – they take on Blue Lick, Kentucky, on Tuesday, then close with ProHammer Baseball of Tucson, Ariz., on Wednesday.

Mid-County and Vancouver were tied at 1-1 after five innings of play before the Texas club could bust the game open with a five-run sixth inning that included the older Kemp’s homer. Both teams finished the game with four hits, but Mid-County was able to take advantage of three Vancouver errors.

“We’re still not being patient enough at the plate, but we’re happy to get a win any way we can get it,” said Mid-County manager Ben Rogers. “We finally started to sit back and settle down in the sixth inning.

“Conner is always going to keep us in games. For being a 16-year-old kid, he has a lot of poise,” Rogers continued. “We’ve got a day off, so we’ll get in the (batting) cage and do some work.”

Two Vancouver errors gave Mid-County a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Primetime second baseman Dillion Hamilton dropped a grounder by MC shortstop Zack Friesz and couldn’t make the pay at first base in time – pitcher Jasper Rank then threw the baseball over first base trying to pick off Friesz, who would score on a single by Kyler Bumstead.

But the club from southwest Washington tied the score in the bottom of the second. Parker Reeves singled to open the frame, got to second on a ground out and came in on a basehit by teammate Jakob Hammond.

For the next three innings, Conner Kemp and Vancouver pitcher Jasper Rank settled into a pitchers’ duel as both got the opposing team to go out 1-2-3 in each frame. But in the top of the sixth inning, Mid-County came to life when Brock Fenn, pinch hitting for Conner Kemp, and Jacob Vaughan drew walks to start the inning.

Kody Kolb managed to leg out a bunt single to load the bases, and Logan LeJeune hit a grounder that would go into the scorebook as a fielder’s choice – Fenn broke for the plate from third base as Vancouver tried to get the force out at home, but catcher Hayden Williamson dropped the ball and Fenn scored what would be go-ahead run.

Chase Kemp then hit the second pitch he saw from Rank and powered it over the right field wall, hitting a row of trees that line the street behind the ballpark in Ephrata.

**CORRECTED to reflect spelling of Conner Kemp**