Kocer pitches Cardinals past Claremont
By Jay Davis
Cassius Kocer was in complete control for seven innings as he pitched the Cardinals to a 9-1 win over Claremont at Legion Memorial Field on Wednesday.
“He pitched really well,” said player/coach Ryan Hoffman. “Especially after missing three weeks.”
Kocer threw seven innings of five-hit ball and did not surrender an earned run. He struck out five and walked three.
The Cardinal defense was shaky in the first inning when two errors led to Claremont taking an early 1-0 lead.
Mobridge took the lead in the bottom of the first. Hoffman led off with a double and Cordell Good Shield followed with a walk. They both scored on RBIs by Kocer and Greg Heyne.
The Cardinals added solo runs in the second, third and fourth to take a 5-1 lead. The difference stayed the same until the Cardinals erupted for four runs in the bottom of the eighth. The rally started with a Hoffman walk and singles by Good Shield and Kocer, and ended with RBIs by Heyne, Daniel Roberts and Scott Hoffman.
With the lead, Kocer pitched ahead and avoided any serious threats until Claremont loaded the bases in the seventh. Scott Hoffman came on for the save, throwing two innings and giving up a walk and a hit.
Good Shield led the Cardinal offense. He reached base five times and scored four runs. Good Shield had a single, double, two walks and was hit by a pitch. Heyne was two for five with a double and three RBIs. Kocer added two hits and drove two runners home.
“It was the first time all parts of our game came together,” said Hoffman.
Mobridge laced out 10 hits, including four doubles, against Claremont pitcher Levi Christianson. He pitched into the eighth before giving way to Jayden Geffre.
Drew Johnson was the only Claremont player with two hits. Christianson had a double for the only extra base hit. Wyatt Heine scored the team’s first-inning run.
With players gone for various reasons, there were just nine Cardinals there for the game. Hoffman is hopeful that the players being gone for work, weddings, vacations and whatnot is about done.
“Hopefully we can squad together the rest of the season and into the playoffs,” said Hoffman.
The Cardinals look for a second straight win when they host Britton on Sunday at Legion Memorial Field. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.