By Cort Reynolds
Ada Herald Writer
ADA - Visiting Kenton scored two runs in the sixth inning to break up a tight pitcher's duel, and the Wildcats held on for a 3-1 win over Ada in a Hardin County battle played out on a sunny Wednesday evening.
The loss dropped Ada to 2-9 overall while the Wildcats improved to 6-10 with the win.
The Bulldogs jumped ahead 1-0 with a run in the bottom of the first frame on an RBI double by senior Austin Cobb.
Kenton tied it with a single run in the top of the third, and then Ada southpaw Connor English and Wildcat hurler Matt Bahr locked up in a tight pitcher's duel.
The Bulldogs threatened in the fourth as English singled, followed by a walk. But Bahr was able to regroup and strand both runners to get out of the jam.
In the top of the fifth Kenton hammered a double to right-center field.
Yet Ada catcher Hunter Waller threw out the Wildcat trying to steal third in a big play.
The score remained tied into the sixth when Kenton broke through. After two singles to start the inning, the Wildcats lofted a fly near the right field foul line. Cory Kellum made a diving effort but couldn't hold into the ball when he hit the ground, loading the bases.
A walk to Logan Nichols next put Kenton on top, 2-1. They then added another run on a sacrifice fly by Caleb Halsey to short center field.
English then retired the side without further damage on consecutive fly balls to center fielder Gabe Sutton.
In the bottom of the sixth, Sutton singled to left field but was forced out at second on a grounder off the bat of English. Cobb flew out to right field. Bahr then made a fine bare-handed play on a grounder to the right of the mound and threw out the runner to end the inning with the Wildcats still on top, 3-1.
Kenton went down in order in the seventh as English struck out the final batter. In Ada's last at bat, they caught a break to lead off the inning.
Waller's routine grounder to second base ended up in a high throw, causing a hard collision when the first baseman leaped to try and snare the errant toss as Waller crossed the bag safely.
Ben Neville came in to pinch run for Waller as the tying run came to bat.
But Bahr ended the game with a pop-out to second, a strikeout and then a liner to the third baseman.
Sutton batted 2-2 with singles in the third and sixth innings to pace the five-hit Ada offense.
Lefty English allowed only five hits and no earned runs in a fine complete-game outing for the Bulldogs.
His counterpart Bahr gave up one earned run and struck out eight while walking none. Bahr scattered five hits to earn the win.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Kenton 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 3 5 0
Ada 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 2
Ada tries to stop its eight-game skid when they visit tough conference power Crestview (8-3, 5-0 NWC) Thursday. The Knights shut out rival Lincolnview 3-0 Tuesday to stay a half-game behind league leader Lima Central Catholic.
The Bulldogs then travel to local rival Allen East (7-7, 1-4 NWC) Friday for a league makeup game. LCC blanked AE 12-0 Tuesday.