WHEATFIELD — Kankakee Valley finished last week with an up-down experience, or more accurately, a down-up finish.
The Kats fell to North Newton on Friday, April 30 and emerged victorious on Saturday, May 1, which was also senior day. Both games were at home.
On Friday, the Kougars (7-11) fell behind early as the Spartans plated runs in the first, second and fourth innings with senior Austin Goddard scoring twice and fellow senior Bryce Shedrow notching the other.
Those three runs were all North Newton (8-4) needed. The Spartans had seven hits overall, including two hits by Goddard. He had a double. Patrick Barry also doubled.
Goddard also went the distance on the mound, pitching all seven innings. He allowed five hits and three walks while striking out one.
The Kougars would plate one in the bottom of the fifth after senior Matt Caldwell reached on a walk and then stole three bases to score. KV would threaten to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth when they loaded the bases but could plate a single runner.
Senior Tyler Feddeler pitched the first 3 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and all three runs while striking out two. Sophomore Andrew Parker finished the game in relief, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out five.
Feddeler was 2 for 3 at the plate, but the Kougar offense just was not present.
On Saturday, May 1, the news was better for KV as the offense showed up to play, beating the LaCrosse Tigers, 13-5 on 11 hits. Colton Pribyl drove in runs in three different innings, staring in the second inning which was key for the Kougars confidence.
KV scored five runs in second after going up 2-0 in the first. Feddeler, Pribyl, Cayden Dykhuizen and Dylan Holmes each had RBIs in the inning.
The Kougars racked up 11 hits and stole an equal number of bases against the Tigers. Four players stole more than one base each, led by Brad Gannon’s theft of three.
Pribyl was 3 for 4 with four RBIs, Fedderler had a double and three RBIs, Holmes was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Gannon was 2 for 2 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
On the mound for the Kougars were seniors Matt Caldwell and Max Hunter and sophomore Caden Vanderhere. Caldwell pitched the first three innings, giving up five hits and five runs while striking out six. Hunter pitched two frames and struck out five while Vanderhere finished the game, also striking out five.
LaCrosse (6-6) did have its own big inning when it scored five in the top of the third, but that was all that it could muster.