MOUNT CARMEL -- Over 40 MLB scouts and front office executives flock to Wabash Valley College on Thursday afternoon. The main attraction, Warrior freshman southpaw Antoine Kelly Jr.
Though it wasn't Kelly's sharpest outing of the year, he did throw two innings of hitless baseball and the Warriors hitters stepped in support of their pitcher in the Warriors' 13-3 win on Thursday at Wabash Valley College.
Kelly struggled with his control in this outing, allowing six walks and a run as a result of his command issues. He received the hook after two innings and was replaced by freshman righty Mason Vinyard.
On the hitting side, the Warriors scored at least two runs an inning in every inning leading up to the sixth inning, allowing them to take a 13-2 lead heading into the sixth inning and offering a surplus of run support. The quartet of sophomore first baseman Cael Baker, sophomore left fielder Sam Wilson, sophomore Miguel Rivera and sophomore second baseman Brian Fuentes led the way hitting. Baker smashed a homer and went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, Fuentes went 3-for-4 with a double and and two RBIs, Wilson posted a 1-for-3 line with a homer and three RBIs and Rivera plated two homers en route to a 2-for-3 day with four RBIs.
In relief, Vinyard (3-0) threw 3 2-3 solid innings, allowing seven hits, two runs, but fanning nine batters and picking up the win. He was later replaced by sophomore southpaw Andy Samuelson, who threw a hitless remaining 1 1-3 innings.
The victory pushes Wabash Valley College's win streak up to 30 games, an astonishing total. Possibly even more astonishing is how the Warriors are still considerably a ways away from the record for the longest NJCAA Baseball win streak. The mark was set at 57 consecutive games by Howard (Texas) in the 2009 season. If the Warriors were to win out their remaining games this season, it would push them to a 56-game streak, just shy of the record and needing to break it in the postseason.
Head coach Rob Fournier has reiterated though that while that stuff is nice, his team is just focused on improving. When you start chasing records little things can start to slip away from you.
The Warriors (32-1) will complete the series with Rend Lake on Saturday in a road doubleheader beginning at noon. With a pair of victories, the streak could reach 32 games.
RL -- 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 -- 3
WVC -- 3 2 3 2 3 0 X -- 13
WVC hitting: Fuentes 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBIs, 2B. Baker 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 4 RBIs. Rivera 2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBIs. Wilson 1-for-3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBIs.
Warriors pitching: WP -- Vinyard (3-0) 3 2-3 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 9 K.