Kiely’s Pitching, Timely Hits Lead Blues Over Covington In Regular-Season Finale, 9-3

By: 
Jonathan Schwab

Wednesday, May 17 – An impressive pitching performance by Matt Kiely combined with timely hitting and strong defense to lift the Parry McCluer High School baseball team to a 9-3 win over Pioneer District rival Covington on Wednesday in Buena Vista.

The game was the final contest of the season for the Blues (10-6 overall, 5-0 district), who had beaten the Cougars (3-10) in Covington 8-7 eight days earlier, coming back from a six-run deficit.

Before Wednesday’s game, the Blues honored their six seniors: Hayden Bartley, Jordan Conner, Zach Higgins, Josh Sears, John Thomas and Matt Thompson.

Kiely, a sophomore, battled through to pitch a complete game on the warm and windy evening. With the help of his defense, he dug the Blues out of a three-run third inning by Covington. For the game, Kiely struck out two and allowed seven hits, two walks and one earned run.

The Blues scored their first two runs in the bottom of the first, with Hayden Bartley and Zach Claytor running home on an error. Matt Thompson then singled to right field to drive home Jordan Conner, giving PM a 3-0 lead.

Covington’s offense got going in the third, as Blake Woodzell scored on a sacrifice bunt by Austin Douglas. Caleb Haynes then scored on a passed ball, and Tyler Dressler scored on an error to tie the game at 3-3.

A pivotal hit for PM came in the fifth when Thompson hit a line drive to center field tor bring home Kiely, breaking the tie and giving the Blues a 4-3 lead.

In the sixth, the Cougars replaced starting pitcher Garrett Crawford with Haynes, and PM responded well to the change, scoring the game’s final five runs in the inning. Higgins doubled with a line drive to right field to drive in Sears, and Bartley scored on an error. Thompson singled with a grounder to left field to bring home Higgins and Zach Claytor, and Conner scored on a grounder by Austin Moore.

The Blues ended the game quickly in the top of the seventh. Shortstop Claytor made an impressive diving catch at shortstop and then assisted on a double play to Thomas at second and Conner at first.

PM amassed 10 hits, led by Thompson with three and Bartley and Claytor with two each. Dressler paced Covington with three hits.

The Blues, currently in second place in Conference 45, are scheduled to play host for a quarterfinal game on Monday at 5 p.m. The opponent will be determined after the final regular-season games.

For the full story and photos from this week’s action, please see our May 24 newspaper.

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