Kenai Central’s Simon Grenier (9) celebrates his grand slam against Soldotna with teammates at the Soldotna Little League fields Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Simon Grenier (9) celebrates his grand slam against Soldotna with teammates at the Soldotna Little League fields Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai baseball tops SoHi in extra innings

The Kenai Central baseball team defeated Soldotna 13-11 in eight innings Wednesday at the Soldotna Little League fields in Southcentral Conference play.

The Kardinals improve to 2-1 in the league and 3-3 overall, while SoHi is at 3-1 and 5-2.

In a game that took almost 3.5 hours, Kenai jumped to a 5-0 lead after the first 1 1-2 innings. The big blow was Simon Grenier’s grand slam in the first inning.

Then it was Soldotna’s turn to roll, as the Stars got at least two runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings to go up 11-5.

Kenai reliever Gabe Smith then kept the Stars off the board in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Kards scored four in the sixth, two in the seventh and two in the eighth to avenge a 13-0 loss to Soldotna on April 26.

In the top of the eighth inning, Jayden Sandahl scored on a fielder’s choice by Brady Bostic and Charlie Chamberlain singled with two outs to score Bostic.

Smith got the win, going five innings and giving up two runs on four hits while walking four and striking out four.

Grenier had gotten the start, going three innings and giving up six runs — five earned — on seven hits while walking one. Bostic gave up three runs.

For the Stars, Riley Johnson got the start and was solid except for the grand slam, giving up six hits and five runs — one earned — in three innings. Johnson walked four and struck out three.

Derrick Jones gave up three runs in 2 1-3 innings for the Stars, then relievers Levi Mickelson and Dylan Davidhizar each walked four in less than an inning as Kenai made its comeback.

In the seventh inning, Colby Sturman came in with SoHi clinging to an 11-10 lead and the bases loaded with one out. Grenier hit a sac fly to score Bostic, but Sturman otherwise escaped unscathed. Sturman gave up two unearned runs in the eighth.

For Kenai, Braden Smith was 2 for 5 with two runs, Chamberlain scored two runs, Gabe Smith scored two runs, Grenier ended up with two hits and six RBIs and Sandahl was 2 for 2 with two walks and two runs.

For the Stars, Jacob Belger had two runs, Mickelson was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, Johnson was 3 for 5 with three RBIs and Nate Mowery was 2 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs.

Kenai Central relief pitcher Gabe Smith picked up the win against Soldotna at the Soldotna Little League fields Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central relief pitcher Gabe Smith picked up the win against Soldotna at the Soldotna Little League fields Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Atticus Gibson slides in safely in front of the tag of Kenai Central first baseman Xander Amend at the Soldotna Little League fields Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Atticus Gibson slides in safely in front of the tag of Kenai Central first baseman Xander Amend at the Soldotna Little League fields Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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