Alton High School
Boys Varsity Baseball
Kahoks erupt with 14 runs late to keep Alton winless in SWC
Louie Korac For The Telegraph
Published 8:12 pm, Thursday, April 12, 2018
GODFREY — Early on, it appeared as if the Alton Redbirds would coast to a relatively easy Southwestern Conference baseball victory.
But that’s why they play seven innings, and the Collinsville Kahoks made it anything but easy.
Collinsville exploded for 14 runs over the final three innings, including six in the seventh off reliever Charlie Erler in a 14-9 come-from-behind win against the Redbirds on Thursday afternoon at Alton High School.
Alton (5-5, 0-3) led 6-0 after three and 9-3 after five. But the bullpen, including Erler, Zach Knight and Michael Reeder couldn’t hold the lead and left Alton coach Todd Haug shaking his head afterwards.
“If I knew (why it got away), it wouldn’t have gotten away,” Haug said. “We’ve just got to finish ballgames. We controlled the game for five innings. So far, its kind of been a common theme. Kudos to Wesley Laaker pitching well and when we needed to go to the pen on pitch count, just didn’t get a lot out of the bullpen today.”
Laaker was effective in five innings of work as Alton’s starter. But Collinsville (8-3, 3-2) touched him for three runs in the fifth to make it a 6-3 game, but Haug felt like it was time to get Laaker out after 79 pitches. He scattered eight hits with three earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts.
“It was time,” Haug said. “When you know your guys and you know to get them out of there on a positive note with a good lead, I think we played it correctly. Sooner or later, you’ve got to give the guys in the bullpen to prove themselves too to see where you stand.”
Collinsville, which had 15 of their 19 hits on the day over the final three innings, scored five times in the sixth off Knight, who didn’t record an out and lasted three batters, and Reeder to make it a 9-8 game.
Hunter Counton’s three-run home run was the big blow in the inning that made it a 9-6 game. He tied it in the seventh with a single off Erler before Braeden Lamp’s seeing-eye single between third and short put Collinsville ahead for good.
“I give a ton of credit to our guys,” Kahoks coach Pete Trapp said. “Mentally, they didn’t stop. It was tough. You get down six runs against a quality team like Alton in the third inning, its hard. But they found a way to just keep battling. You’ve got to give that to them and their heart and their efforts and attitudes.”
Alton’s bullpen couldn’t close, but Collinsville’s Carson Richardson could.
Richardson, who was 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and three runs scored, threw a pair of wild pitches in the fifth that increased Alton’s lead to 9-3. But he shut it down the rest of the way and worked 2 2/3 innings of two-hit ball to earn the win.
“Carson hasn’t exactly been as good as what we wanted him to be on the mound this year,” Trapp said. “Today he showed he definitely belongs out there. We know he does, but he really stepped it up today.”
Robby Taul and Riley Phillips each had three hits for Alton, which rapped out 12 hits.
“A significant portion of our games, we’ve had a lead,” Haug said. “We’ve just got to finish. We’re going to stay positive with them and we’re going to keep working.”
COLLINSVILLE 14, ALTON 9
Collinsville 000 035 6 — 14 19 4
Alton 321 030 0 — 9 12 1
Collinsville (8-3, 3-2) — Counton 3-5 HR RBI-4, Lemp 1-2 RBI-2, Dumsdorff 1-2, Monki 1-1, Schrage 4-5 2B-2 RBI-4, Bovinett 2-5 HR RBI-2, Reeves 0-4 RBI, Scrum 2-5 RBI-2, Holten 1-2, Richardson 4-4 2B. WP-Richardson IP 2 2/3 H-2 R-0 ER-0 BB-0 K-2.
Alton (5-5, 0-3) — Hampton 1-2 RBI, Taul 3-4 RBI, Stilts 0-4 RBI, Brooks 2-4 RBI-2, Phillips 3-4, Droste 2-4 2B, Mossman 1-3 RBI. LP-Erler IP-1 H-6 R-6 ER-6 BB-0 K-0.