KIRTLAND—Andrew Spencer allowed two unearned runs in six innings and Kirtland’s offense scored eight runs on 12 hits in an 8-2 win over visiting Cardinal on Wednesday.
With the win, the Hornets earned the season sweep of the Huskies while improving to 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.
“We were hitting the ball very well today,” said Kirtland coach Luke Smrdel. “We played good defense, we made a few errors at the end but our bats came out alive and we kept hitting. That’s what I like to see.”
Kirtland led 8-0 before the Huskies scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
As he has done all season long, Reese VanArnhem got the Hornets off to a fast start when he led off the bottom of the first with a single and stole his way to third, and scored on an error.
Spencer singled to start a two-run rally in the second. Gage Sullivan then singled and both runners moved up a base on an error. VanArnhem made it 3-0 with his crisp single to right center.
“That was one of the key things we had to find coming into this year,” said Smrdel of VanArnhem, who was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three runs batted in. “We didn’t have last year, obviously, but we had to find a leadoff guy to replace Joey Torok and Reese has stepped in that role and he’s done fantastic all year. I hope he can continue that all year.”
Mason Sullivan doubled and scored on an error in the third and the Hornets closed out their scoring with four runs in the fourth.
Gage Sullivan reached first on a dropped third strike and Mason Rus singled. VanArnhem then doubled home Sullivan and Anthony DeMarco cleared the bases with his single and later scored on a groundout.
Cardinal scored a run on two errors in the fifth and added another in the sixth on a pair of singles and a two-out error.
Spencer allowed just four hits and struck out six. Mason Rus struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh.
Spencer and Mason Sullivan combined to sweep the Huskies and together are 2-0 in league play with an earned run average of 1.00.
“They’re a great one-two punch, probably one of the best in the area,” Smrdel said. “Every day, I give them the ball and let them do their thing. That’s what I do. I just let them keep pitching and have fun.”