Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kass helps Red Top sweep Williamsburg

WILLIAMSBURG - Fritz Kinzenbaw has been a coach, general manager and goodwill ambassador for Red Top in the Iowa Valley League for many years and often has good advice for his players.

Billy Kass is glad he listened.

Kass belted a pair of home runs and went 5-for-6 Sunday as Red Top rolled to a pair of easy wins over Williamsburg, 14-3 and 11-0, with both games lasting only five innings on a steamy afternoon in Williamsburg.

Kass bunted for a base hit in Game 1 before socking a grand slam, a testament to the words of wisdom he received from Kinzenbaw a long time ago.

"He's been telling me that for years: He says if you get that first bunt down, all of a sudden you start seeing the ball a little better and that's when one gets out of the ballpark," said Kass. "It's something that stuck in my mind for awhile after eight years of playing for him."

Kass finished his day with a solo home run in the second game when he went 2-for-2 with a double, homer, walk, hit-by-pitch and scored three runs.

Red Top lifted its record to 9-1 with the sweep, good for a three-game lead in the Iowa Valley League standings at the mid-point of the campaign.


Kass, from Solon, played his college ball at Kirkwood and Loras before finishing his degree at Iowa. He works at Randy's Carpets in Coralville and has the added pleasure of playing his home games for Red Top at the Solon High School field, where his mother runs one of the best concession stands in the Iowa Valley League.

Kass was a multi-sport athlete at Solon and helped the Spartans win a state title in football, so playing summer baseball on his old high school field is a special treat.

"It's awesome," he said. "It's one of the best fields in the state, so it's been really nice getting to play there the last three or four years."

Aaron Saeugling took a shutout into the fifth inning of the opener for Red Top before Williamsburg strung some hits together and scored all three of its runs. Nick Day and Trey Beckman had two hits for Red Top and Brent Parker had two hits for Williamsburg.

Red Top scored 11 runs in the third inning of the opener, including the grand slam by Kass.

Cole Baker and Drew Yanecek combined for a no-hitter for Red Top in the second game. Baker tossed the first three innings and Yanecek, a Prairie grad who's now at Kirkwood, pitched the last two frames.

Colin Krieter, who also plays at Kirkwood, hit a solo home run for Red Top in the second game.


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