CHAFFEE -- With their ace, Ian Householder, holding Chaffee to only one run through seven innings of work on Monday, the Kelly Hawks rallied from a late deficit to pick up their second win of the young season, 2-1.
"Ian's a guy who if you're going to get him you have to get him early," Kelly head coach Josh Eftink said. "Because he starts building arm strength as the game goes on. It looks to me about the fourth or fifth inning he really starts raring back and cutting loose."
True to Eftink's words, it was in the first inning when the Red Devils (2-1) put up their lone run on the board. Cody Payne opened up the game with a leadoff single before a steal and a passed ball moved him over to third.
Batting cleanup, Trevor Cannon drove home Payne with a two-out single to give his team a 1-0 advantage they kept the next three innings.
After stranding a pair of runners in the fourth, however, the Hawks (2-2) finally got on the board in the top of the fifth after Aaron Grainger led things off with a single to left field. Grainger stole second before advancing to third on a dropped third strike on Householder, who beat the throw to first to prevent the out.
Jeff Gates then grounded a ball past short to bring home Grainger as the tying run.
"Jeff was one that was struggling his first couple of at bats of the game," Eftink said. "He was lunging out to the ball instead of being patient. He's a guy that's been hitting the ball really well and was just a little overly aggressive today, but he came through with a big hit for us."
Coming back up in the sixth still tied, Kelly took advantage of what at first appeared to be a base running miscue to score the game-winning run.
Opening the frame with a bloop hit to shallow right field, designated hitter Anthony Klunk moved over to second on a bunt from Austin Wedlington. Batting ninth in the order, Gaven Ray then singled to center field.
After the runners had settled on first and third, the centerfielder threw home, prompting Ray to try and advance to second after a slight delay.
The catcher fired to second to catch Ray stealing for an out, but allowed Klunk just enough time to safely cross home ahead of a throw back to the plate.
"They made a high throw in to home plate and the kid read it right, but then he hesitated and took off again," Eftink said of Ray. "If he just goes right away he makes it easy into second base. But it ended up drawing a throw and nobody was covering home.
"(Klunk) took off, they made a bad throw and it was just one of those things where we lucked into a run I guess."
On what turned out to be the game-winning play, Chaffee head coach Brain Horrell said, "We made a nice play by getting the guy out at second base. You don't want to just let the kids go when he was a dead out. Our second baseman I guess just misread it.
"He thought the kid was standing off the bag and fired it to third when actually the kid was running off third. When we fired to third we rushed our throw to the plate and didn't make a good play."
Still will six outs to try and at least force extra innings, the Red Devils came out in the bottom of the sixth and put runners on first and second with one out. Before they could plate a run, however, a grounder down the third base line resulted in a double play to end the inning.
Closing out the Kelly win, Householder sent the Red Devils down in order in the seventh, which included striking out one batter on three straight pitches.
"The double play in the sixth inning was a backbreaker," Horrell said. "Not only did they turn a double play to get them out of the inning, but kept us from turning our lineup over for the seventh inning. It would have been nice to get back to the top of the lineup.
"The kid hit the ball hard, right down the line and (the third baseman) just happened to be playing on the line and caught it while he was standing on third. That's just the way it goes. You have to tip your hat. Their kid pitched a great game."
In picking up the win, Householder allowed the one earned run in the first while surrendering seven hits and two walks. He struck out seven.
His counterpart, Alex Davie, went six full innings, surrendering both runs on seven hits and six walks while striking out 10. Davie had four strikeouts in the fifth inning alone when Householder reached on the dropped third strike.
Kelly 000 011 0 - 2
Chaffee 100 000 0 - 1
WP -- Ian Householder. LP -- Alex Davie. Multiple hitters -- (K) Anthony Klunk 2-3; (C) Cody Payne 2-4, Trevor Cannon 2-3. 2B -- (C) Payne, Cannon.