The Kenai Central Kardinals stayed undefeated to start their baseball season with a 10-8 Southcentral Conference win over Homer Tuesday at the Kenai Little League Fields.
The Kards are 3-0 overall to begin the spring, after winning their opening games against Palmer and Houston last weekend.
Senior starter Gavin Pettersen pitched five innings, striking out four and walking four, while giving up two hits. Paul Steffensen and Stephen Norvelle each went one inning in relief and gave up a hit apiece to finish the game.
Zack Selinger fueled Kenai’s offense by hitting 3 for 4, while Steffensen was 2 for 4 with a double and Levi Mese had a double.
“It was a solid pitching performance on both sides,” said Kenai head coach Steve Nimcheski. “Homer seems to be a strong team. We’re looking forward to travelling down there later this month.”
Joe Ravin started for Homer on the mound, getting in three innings of work and giving up six runs, four of them earned, on seven hits, two strikeouts and one walk. Mose Hayes went three frames in relief, giving up four runs on one hit and three walks while striking out three.
Ravin, Adam Brinster and Spencer Warren each had one hit at the plate to lead Homer’s offense.
After a wild weekend that saw the Kards dominated Palmer 17-5, then escape with a thrilling 6-5 win over Houston on Saturday, Kenai kept the magic going Tuesday in their home opener.
After managing to wiggle out of two early jams, included a bases-loaded situation in the first, Kenai’s defense finally bent in the third inning on a groundout by Adam Brinster that scored Ravin, giving Homer a 1-0 lead.
However, the Kards responded in the bottom of the third by loading the bases with no outs for Nick Beeson, who brought in a run on a grounder to third base that bounced off the glove of Garrett Butcher, tying the game at 1 apiece.
With the bases still loaded, Paul Steffensen launched a high double that bounced off the outfield wall, bringing in two runs give Kenai a 3-1 lead. An RBI grounder by Zack Selinger and a blooper by Levi Mese that dropped in centerfield for an error scored two more runs, putting the Kards up 6-1 after three frames.
Pettersen exited with Kenai up 10-6, and Homer could not complete a rally in the final two frames.