Strong pitching, five-run second inning key Touchet's 7-1 win over Liberty Christian

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TOUCHET - Kelsey Cardwell's best outing of the season and a five-run second inning without the benefit of a hit carried Touchet to a 7-1 Southeast B District Southern Division baseball victory over Liberty Christian here Tuesday afternoon.

Cardwell, a senior right-hander who helped pitch the Indians into the Class 1B state championship game last year, worked the first four innings, allowed one run on one hit, registered two strikeouts and walked one Patriots batter.

"He had the ball low in the zone and was pretty sharp," Touchet coach Wayne Dickey said of Cardwell's performance. "It was a good outing for him, by far his best outing of the year."

Left-hander Tuff Goble, the other half of the Indians' solid 1-2 pitching punch, relieved Cardwell in the fifth and worked three scoreless innings and allowed two hits. He struck out two and walked one.

"Tuff was his usual self," Dickey said, noting that Goble pitched a complete game early in the season when the Indians beat the Patriots 4-3 in Richland.

"This game would have been very similar had it not been for that second inning," Dickey added. "That was a real mess."

Liberty Christian pitcher Mike Groth issued four walks and hit a batter in the second when the Indians scored five of their seven runs. Eric Hines, Jake Hodnefield and Marshall Byerley all drew bases-loaded walks in the inning and Goble was credited with a run batted in on an infield grounder. Two other runs scored on a Liberty Christian throwing error.

"Their pitcher really struggled in that second inning, but he settled down after that," Dickey said of Groth. "He pitched very well against us when we played them earlier in the year."

The Indians plated a single run in the first inning when Hodnefield walked, stole second and scored on a Cardwell base hit. Touchet's finaly tally came across in the fourth when Byerley delivered an RBI double that scored Travis Fowler, who had walked.

The Indians, now 7-0, are off until Monday when they travel to Pasco for a Southern Division doubleheader against Tri-Cities Prep at Gesa Stadium. The first pitch is slated for 2 p.m.

"I am encouraged, but there's still an awful lot of baseball to be played," said Dickey of the season so far. "Tri-Cities Prep is perennially a strong team, and we have DeSales in a couple of weeks. So we'll find out. There are still a lotof challenges ahead of us."

Liberty Christ. 001 000 0 - 1 3 3

Touchet 150 100 x - 7 4 0

Groth, J. Peterson (6) and Koglin; Cardwell, Goble (5) and Byerley, McMakin (7).

Hits - LC: B. Peterson 2, Koglin; Touchet: Byerley, Goble, Cardwell, Martinez.

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