MERLIN, Ore. — After losing the opener 1-0, the Klamath Union Pelicans used two first inning runs to defeat the North Valley Knights 2-0, splitting the doubleheader at North Valley High School and preserving a one-game lead in the Skyline Conference.
The Pelicans are bidding for their first conference baseball title since 1990.
In his sixth start, Kody Kuhlman improved to 7-1, holding North Valley to five hits over seven innings and not allowing a run. The complete game was Kuhlman’s fifth this year, as he collected five more strikeouts for a season total of 41.
Kuhlman also combined with Donavin Weiser for the Pelicans’ only two RBI, bringing in Jack Bell in the first inning before Weiser hit Kuhlman to the plate to help KU to the 2-0 advantage that ended up the final.
The Pelicans’ one-through-six hitters all finished with a hit, including Chris McGahan’s fourth-inning double – KU’s only extra base hit of the doubleheader.
Numerous times, Klamath Union had promising-looking starts to innings, but key defensive plays by North Valley thwarted KU from advancing its lead. Still, the Pels held on, utilizing four North Valley errors. The teams answered each other’s threats nicely, combing for five double plays in the two games.
The pitching loss by North Valley starter Jake Herklotz was his first of the season.
In game 1, Klamath Union outhit North Valley 5-3, but could not bring in any runs, stranding five base runners. Oddly enough, KU left nine on base to North Valley’s four in the second game, but still won.
Klamath Union (15-5; 10-2 Skyline Conference) ends the regular season next week, playing Mazama at Kiger Stadium Tuesday (4:30 p.m. – 960 the Sports Legend) followed by a home doubleheader with Hidden Valley on May 12.
Meanwhile, North Valley (16-4; 9-3) will have to hope Klamath Union stumbles in order to win the Skyline. The Knights celebrated senior day Saturday, as they play their final three games on the road.
Game Box Scores
(from Gamechanger.io – Click pictures to enlarge)
Box Score – Game 1 – North Valley 1, Klamath Union 0
Box Score – Game 2 – Klamath Union 2, North Valley 0