Kennedy, Jefferson advance to final

Cedar Rapids Kennedy catcher Sam Hunter (left) braces for contact as Marion's Dusty Albaugh goes in hard during the Bob Vrbicek Metro Baseball Tournament Monday at Kennedy. Hunter didn't have the ball, but Albaugh was called out and ejected on the play. (Photo by Chris Macklin)

Cedar Rapids Kennedy catcher Sam Hunter (left) braces for contact as Marion's Dusty Albaugh goes in hard during the Bob Vrbicek Metro Baseball Tournament Monday at Kennedy. Hunter didn't have the ball, but Albaugh was called out and ejected on the play. (Photo by Chris Macklin)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The next chapter of the Christensen Civil War will have to wait.

Austin Christensen pitched six shutout innings in the quarterfinals Monday, then collected three hits in the semifinals as Cedar Rapids Kennedy reached the championship game of the Bob Vrbicek Metro Baseball Tournament.

“I’m thrilled to be 2-0 and in the championship game,” said Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer.

The Cougars face Cedar Rapids Jefferson for the title at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Veterans Stadium. Kennedy beat Marion in the semifinals, 9-4, while Jefferson beat Cedar Rapids Washington, 8-5.

That delayed the Christensen brother-vs.-brother confrontation until later this season. Austin is a sophomore at Kennedy; Chad Christensen is a senior at Washington.

Both were untouchable on the mound Monday. Austin blanked Linn-Mar for six innings, and Kennedy won, 10-4. Chad pitched a compete-game shutout in a 4-0 quarterfinal win over Cedar Rapids Xavier.

“We talked a little after his first game,” Austin said. “He did a great job pitching.”

They both did.

“I was just trying to hit my spots. I wanted them to hit the ball,” Austin said. “I was trying to mix it up and keep them off balance.”

Kennedy reached the final by scoring five unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning in the win over Marion. Three Marion errors were key.

Marion led, 2-1, when the pivotal moment came in the top of the second inning.

With two on and one out, Ryan McSweeney singled to left field. Dusty Albaugh tried to score and barreled into Kennedy catcher Sam Hunter.

Albaugh was called out (even though the ball got past Hunter) and ejected from the game. Indians Coach Steve Fish was sent to the dugout for arguing the call.

“No question, it was a big play,” Hoyer said. “It’s a situation where the umpire has to make a call, he calls it like he sees it. Right, wrong or whatever, it’s a big play.”

Kennedy starter Tyler Kalb worked his way out of the inning on a pickoff throw to second, and the momentum went irretrievably into the Cougars’ pockets. By the time Kalb returned to the mound in the third, he had a 6-2 lead to work with

Griffin Michael, who batted behind Christensen, had two hits and three RBIs.

AT C.R. KENNEDY

Marion 200 011 0 — 4  8  3

C.R. Kennedy 150 102 x — 9  11  3

Garrett Fortner and Nate Johnson. Tyler Kalb, Ryan Dusil (6), Bryan Bruner (7) and Sam Hunter, Terrell Sykes (6). WP — Kalb. LP — Fortner. HR — Dalton Combs (M).

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One Response to “Kennedy, Jefferson advance to final”

  1. Kennedy, Jefferson advance to final | IowaPrepSports.com Says:

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