Six-run second inning sparks FSHS baseball

Clicking on the mound and in the field Tuesday evening against Leavenworth, Free State High’s baseball team would only need one run. But the Firebirds went ahead and scored six — all in the second inning — just to be safe in a 6-0 home win.

Senior Cooper Karlin said once FSHS took care of business in the bottom of the second, when he drove in one run, Marcileno Cortez knocked in two more and Mikey Corbett plated another, the Firebirds allowed themselves to cruise.

Ideally, Karlin added, the Firebirds (5-2) would have piled on at some point in the following innings.

“The plan is to get a bunch of base hits back-to-back-to-back and have the pitching and defense carry us from there,” Karlin said. “But it doesn’t always work out that way.”

Starting pitcher Hunter Gudde (four innings, five strikeouts) and reliever Parker Tietjen (three innings, one strikeout) used a big lead and their defense to hold up their end of the bargain.

A junior, Gudde said Free State had struggled some defensively of late, but it didn’t show in the shutout win. Having a six-run lead sure helped, too.

“You just know you have to pound the zone,” Gudde said, “and just don’t let runners on base.”

Firebirds coach Mike Hill didn’t mind seeing his players riding pitching and defense, but deemed them capable of even more in the win.

“Any time you can play with a lead, it makes people comfortable — sometimes too comfortable,” Hill said. “I think we saw a little of that today.”

Leav. 000 000 0 — 0 5 2

FSHS 060 000 x — 6 7 0

W — Hunter Gudde, 3-0. L — Joshua Lucas.

FSHS highlights — Cooper Karlin, 2-for- 2, RBI; Hunter Gudde, 4 IP, 4 Ks, 1-for-3, R; Marcileno Cortez, 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, R; Parker Tietjen, 3 IP, 1 K; Zion Bowlin, 1-for-3, R; Jon Saathoff, 1-for-3; Jacob Pavlyak, 1-for-3, R; Mikey Corbett, 0-for-1, RBI.