By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
It took Hooker’s Chad Kennedy an inning to get on track on the mound, but once he did he dominated as the Hooker Bulldogs ended the Turpin Cardinals winning streak at seven with a 10-2 victory in five innings.
Kennedy gave up three hits, two walks and two runs in the top of half of the first inning as Turpin took a 2-0 lead with lead-off hitter Jordan Lujan and Matt Young singled and later crossed the plate for the Cardinals.
Kennedy allowed no runs the rest of the game, and only allowed three baserunners the rest of the way, including one who reached on an error. Kennedy struck out 10.
“He did a good job, threw strikes,” Bulldogs manager Chad Hussey said. “At times he got to messing around with throwing other pitches instead of throwing strikes. Let them put the ball in play. Our defense is playing well.”
Hooker wasted little time on the offensive side as well. Lead off hitter Taylor McBee knocked Kyler Musgrave’s third pitch into the left field corner, and made it all the way around for an inside-the-park homerun.
Hooker scored two more runs off of two more hits to take the lead 3-2 at the end of the first.
Hooker took control of the game with four runs in the second to go up 7-2.
Turpin did not help themselves in the field, committing five errors in the first three innings.
“We were missing some guys today, and that hurt us,” Cardinals manager Mario Mendoza said. “we gave up some outs that we should have had, and when you play a team as good as Hooker they are going to make you pay.”
Lujan took the mound for the Cardinals in the third and slowed down the Bulldogs offense, but Hooker still was able to get one across in each inning for the 8-run win.
“We are slowly getting there,” Hussey said. “Pitching is coming around and we are starting to hit the ball, but some guys are still struggling. Got in the cage. I did think we hit the ball well with two strikes.”
Chad Kennedy finished 2-3 with a double, two runs scored, and three stolen bases. Hunter Brown was 3-4 with a double and two runs scored. Brandon Gomez was 2-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Taylor McBee scored three runs along with his inside-the-park homerun.
Hooker (6-5) will be at Buffalo for a doubleheader Saturday, starting at 2 p.m. Turpin (7-1) hosts Laverne, Monday at 4 p.m.