COLUMBIA — After three innings, the Helias Crusaders had a 3-1 lead and all of the momentum. One inning later, the Kewpies had taken the lead, the momentum and cruised to a 11-5 win.
The comeback was sparked by senior pitcher Drew Mitrisin, now 4-0, who retired all three men he faced in the top of the fourth inning.
Senior shortstop Colin Kemble said that inning gave the team inspiration to step up to the plate and put some runs on the score board.
“When you can get in and out of an inning really quickly, it gives us some motivation to come in and hit the ball.”
Coach Dave Wilson was equally impressed with his team’s performance in the fourth inning. He said that when you are the home team it is crucial to get a lead.
“The fourth inning really took the pressure off our team,” Wilson said. “After that we seemed to relax a little bit and play with more confidence.”
Contributing to the increase in offense for the Kewpies was the Helias defense, which committed five errors on the day.
“They had a few mistakes out there in the field and that helped us,” Wilson said. “The key to that is making sure you take advantage of those mistakes and I thought we eventually did that.”
Kemble led the Kewpies balanced offensive attack going three for four with two RBIs.
“I think Colin was huge today,” Wilson said. “He was frustrated early on this year, but he is starting to play to his strength of hitting the ball up the middle.”
Wilson thought there was another key part of the game that he was impressed with. Senior pitcher Austin Coats came into the game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and the Kewpies only up by three runs.
Coats was able to get out of the inning with limited damage and close out the game in the seventh.
Wilson felt that his pitching staff had labored throughout the day giving up a lot of walks, so it was big for Coats to come in and end the game.
The Kewpies had eight different batters who collected at least one hit.
Hickman (9-3) will play its next game at 4:15 p.m. Thursday at Hickman High School against Fort Zumwalt West.