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Appleget, Taylor help Kennedy to sweep

The talent-rich Cedar Rapids Kennedy baseball team got a little richer Thursday night.

Nick Appleget and Colin Taylor stepped into major roles and helped the ninth-ranked Cougars sweep Waterloo East, 6-3 and 11-1, in a Mississippi Valley Conference twinbill at Kennedy.

Appleget pitched a strong game in the nightcap, while Taylor contributed with his bat and arm in both games.

Appleget's career has been hindered by two major knee operations, but the right-hander made his first start on the mound and baffled East (4-16, 1-9) with a crackling fastball and sharp curve.

 

Appleget, a 6-foot-3 junior, struck out nine batters, allowed four hits and walked two in the six-inning game. East's only run was unearned.

 

Appleget had pitched only 5 2/3 innings in relief prior to Thursday, so he more than doubled his workload against Waterloo East.

"I feel better now that I know I can pitch that long, because I didn't know," he said. "My arm was kind of sore after throwing just one or two innings before, so I didn't know if I could go that many.

"It felt really good as the night went on," he said. "It (the fastball) continued to get faster, and my curveball started curving more."

Appleget had major knee operations as a freshman and sophomomre and had an arthoscopic procedure prior to this season. He wears a brace on his left knee, but he looked strong Thursday.

"I was really impressed. I'm very happy," Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer said. "He's shown that before in short outings, but we didn't know how he would do in an extended outing. That was really impressive, what he did tonight."

Appleget (1-0) has struck out 16 batters in 11 2/3 innings and his earned run average is a tidy 0.60.

Taylor also gave Kennedy (16-4, 9-1) a lift. He played an important role for the Cougars last year as a relief pitcher and hit .368 as a part-time DH/pinch hitter, but he hadn't gotten many chances to swing the bat this season and was 0-for-5 prior to Thursday.

Taylor went 4-for-7 in the twinbill with a home run and three RBIs. He had a key hit in the first game to ignite a five-run rally as the Cougars rallied for the 6-3 win, and he went 3-for-4 with his homer in the nightcap.

"It felt really good," Taylor said. "It was the first time I got to start a game (as the DH). I'm glad I capitalized on it. I feel good at the plate now."

Taylor got his chance to hit because Austin Benson and Josh Jahlas were not available. Benson, a .444 hitter, had a college commitment. Jahlas, a part-time starter, was participating in a football camp at Iowa State. Taylor filled the void.

"That's what you like to see," Hoyer remarked. "He took advantage of the opportunity to show us what he can do."

Taylor also pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the opener with three straight strikeouts to help preserve Kennedy's 6-3 victory.

Waterloo East is 4-16 overall and 1-9 in the MVC, but the Trojans are a pesky team when Nate Sahr is pitching. Sahr began the day with a 3-1 record and 2.28 ERA, and he handcuffed the Cougars for four innings in the opener before Kennedy broke through in the fifth.

David Yancey smacked a three-run homer in the fifth inning, snapping a 3-3 tie and giving the Cougars their 6-3 advantage.

Cody Bell pitched five innings for Kennedy in the opener and got the win. He allowed three runs, but all were unearned. Bell went 2-for-2 in the nightcap with three RBIs.

Austin Christensen was 2-for-4 in the doubleheader for Kennedy and is batting .643 for the season (36 for 56).

Game 1

WATERLOO EAST (3)
Rathe, lf, 3 1 1 0, Magnuson, ss, 3 1 2 0, Sahr, p, 4 0 1 0, Johnson, cr, 0 1 0 0, Billings, cf, 3 0 0 1, Frost, rf, 3 0 1 2, Schutte, 1b, 2 0 1 0, Wilson, 2b, 2 0 0 0, Boehmer, 3b, 2 0 0 0, Johnson, ph, 1 0 0 0, Berry, c, 3 0 0 0. Totals 26 3 6 3.

KENNEDY (6)
Sykes, 2b, 2 1 1 0, Jacobus, 3b, 3 0 0 1, Christensen, rf, 1 2 1 0, Michael, ss, 3 1 1 1, Yancey, lf/p, 3 1 1 3, Hayden, lf, 0 0 0 0, Bell, p/1b, 3 0 0 0, Maiers, c, 3 0 1 0, Rhoades, cr, 0 0 0 0, Taylor, dh/p, 3 0 1 0, Lloyd, cf/pr/lf, 0 1 0 0, Ambrosy, 1b, 3 0 0 0. Totals 24 6 6 5.

Waterloo East  000 030 0 - 3 6 1
Kennedy        100 050 x - 6 6 1

Sahr and Berry. Bell, Taylor (6), Yancey (7) and Maiers. W - Bell (2-1). L - Sahr (3-2). S - Yancey (5). 2B - Schutte, Sykes, Michael, Maiers. HR - Yancey. SB - Rathe, Sykes, Christensen, Michael.

Game 2

WATERLOO EAST (1)
Rathe, 3b, 2 0 0 0, Magnuson, ss, 2 1 1 0, Sahr, dh, 3 0 0 0, Billings, cf, 3 0 1 0, Frost, rf, 3 0 0 0, Schutte, 1b, 2 0 1 0, Wilson, c, 2 0 0 0, Johnson, lf, 1 0 1 0, Berry, 2b, 2 0 0 0, Pietro, 2b, 0 0 0 0. Totals 20 1 4 0.

KENNEDY (11)
Sykes, 2b, 3 0 2 1, Jacobus, 3b, 4 1 2 0, Christensen, rf, 3 1 1 0, Michael, ss, 4 0 1 0, Yancey, lf, 3 2 0 0, Bell, 1b, 2 2 2 3, Lloyd, ph, 1 1 1 0, Maiers, c, 1 0 0 0, Lizarraga, c, 3 1 0 1, Taylor, dh, 4 1 3 3, Rhoades, pr, 0 1 0 0, Unash, pr, 0 0 0 0, Ambrosy, cf, 3 1 1 1, Hayden, ph, 1 0 0 0. Totals 32 11 13 9.

Waterloo East    001 000 - 1 4 4
Kennedy          033 221 - 11 13 1

Boehmer and Wilson. Appleget and Maiers, Lizarraga (3). W - Appleget (1-0). L - Boehmer. 2B - Schutte, Jacobus 2, Bell, Ambrosy. HR - Taylor. SB - Johnson, Michael, Yancey.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 June 2011 19:44 )  

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