Kiel’s Conrad stymies HG attack in finals


ISAAC DIRKER of Howards Grove fires a pitch to a Kiel batter in Wednesday’s regional baseball finals. – Photo by Craig Hoffman, Delta Publications ISAAC DIRKER of Howards Grove fires a pitch to a Kiel batter in Wednesday’s regional baseball finals. – Photo by Craig Hoffman, Delta Publications KIEL – Freshman Austin Conrad twirled a four-hitter as the Kiel Raiders defeated the Howards Grove Tigers, 8-1, in a regional final here Wednesday evening.

Conrad walked three, hit one batter and recorded four strikeouts en route to the win.

The No. 3-seeded Raiders improved to 17-8. The Tigers, who beat Kiel twice during Big East Conference play this season, ended their season at 14-10.

Kiel broke the game open with a five-run surge in the bottom of the fifth inning to go up 8-1. Conrad drilled a two-run double, followed by Michael Endries’ two-run single. The fifth run scored on a base hit by Lucas Schema.

The Raiders grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on Trenton Nickel’s leadoff home run.

HG answered with a home run by Mason Valenstein in the top of the second which tied the game, 1-1.


MATTHEW BAGNALL of Howards Grove takes a swing in Wednesday’s regional baseball finals versus Kiel. – Photo by Craig Hoffman, Delta Publications MATTHEW BAGNALL of Howards Grove takes a swing in Wednesday’s regional baseball finals versus Kiel. – Photo by Craig Hoffman, Delta Publications Kiel came back with two runs in its half of the second. Jonathan Grundl’s sacrifice bunt plated the first run and a wild pitch brought in the second.

“It’s tough to end our season this way but congrats to Kiel who outhit us in this one,” said Tiger head coach Mark Weber.

“We defeated them twice during the season but couldn’t get a rally going against Conrad this time. Valenstein played an excellent game tonight but his bat wasn’t enough. Kiel played a strong game and we wish them well.”

Valenstein led the Tigers in hits with two.

The Raiders banged out 11 hits, led by Endries with three. Nickel and Schema contributed two each. Conrad and Endries had a team-high two RBIs apiece.

Isaac Dirker started on the mound for HG and took the loss. Dirker allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in four innings. Matthew Bagnall pitched the final two frames and gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts.


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