KFHS wins baseball tourney

Published 10:01pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The King’s Fork High School baseball team spent spring break putting together perhaps the most successful week in the history of the school’s baseball program.

While hosting the first King’s Fork Spring Break Classic Baseball Tournament, the Bulldogs followed up a 20-0 win on April 12 over Booker T. Washington High School with a 2-0 win on Monday against Churchland High School. This put them in the tourney championship game on Saturday against Southampton High School. The Bulldogs won 3-2.

“I believe it’s the first baseball championship of any kind King’s Fork has won,” Bulldogs head coach Pat Stafford said. The victory also helped his team tie the school record for most wins in a season with five.

“It was a very good ballgame out of both teams,” Stafford said. “We just ended up getting a couple runs, we kind of made some stuff happen in the fourth and fifth innings.”

The Indians took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, while the Bulldogs failed to capitalize on some early scoring chances.

“When you’re in position to score a run, you’ve got be able to execute,” said Stafford.

King’s Fork freshman Blake Sargent led off the top of the fourth inning with a hit and later, in position on third, scored off a passed ball to tie the game.

In the top of the fifth, the game still tied, junior Kalev Henry was walked, then stole second and third. Junior Cal Bailey later reached first on a walk, and then Sargent’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Henry, while Bailey advanced to second.

Next, freshman Ricky McCleod doubled, and Bailey moved to third. The Indians’ pitcher tried to pick Bailey off, but committed an error in the process, throwing past third. Bailey took advantage and scored what proved to be the winning run.

Some King’s Fork errors in the seventh made things close as Southampton came within one run, but Bailey, playing catcher, threw a runner out who was leading too far off the base to get back.

The Bulldogs and Indians produced three hits apiece, but King’s Fork accomplished more, in part, because it registered seven stolen bases throughout the game.

“We were able to have runners in the right place at the right time,” Stafford said.

The coach highlighted Sargent as his offensive standout. The freshman went 1-for-3 with a run batted in and a run scored.

Defensively, senior Tim Hairsine starred, pitching a complete game, allowing only one earned run and throwing five strikeouts.

“We’ve gotten better each and every game, so it’s a huge confidence builder for us going into conference play,” Stafford said of his team’s success during the tourney. “It was mentally challenging for them, so they had to overcome a lot to pull these victories out. There was nothing that was given to us at all.”

Southampton knocked off Denbigh High School 6-1 on Monday and defeated Woodrow Wilson High School 12-2 on Wednesday.

King’s Fork (5-6, 1-1) hosted Grassfield High School on Tuesday evening and begins steady conference play next Tuesday at Phoebus High School.

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