Cards crush Pirates for county Pony title

"Bobby Kelner finished off the Tracyton Cardinals' 17-5 victory over the Silverdale Pirates with a flourish.But it was Kelner's defensive play in the first inning of the county Pony League Bronco Division (12-year-old) championship game at Ross Field that set the tone.He turned not one, but two double plays, marveled Kelner's manager, Jim Connolly. That's pretty impressive.Kelner, the Cards' shortstop, put the kabosh on a Pirates rally in the first inning, diving to his left smartly to glove Tyler Wain's sharp liner up the middle. He then straightened and threw to first to double Chris Atkins, who had walked to lead things off.In the sixth, Kelner started a classic 6-4-3 twin killing to close out the game. Kelner also contributed to a Cardinal offensive attack that produced 19 hits against the Pirates. He was 2 for 4 at the plate with a trio or RBIs.Nick Allpress, in addition to going 3 for 3 at the plate and scoring four runs, came on in relief of starter Nick Bankus in the second inning and shut Silverdale out the rest of the way. The game was stopped after six innings by the 10-run rule.We're a hitting team, Connolly said. Our top seven or eight kids all hit the ball really well. Today, we just hit and hit and hit.Bankus had four of those hits and drove in five runs, and three other Cardinals - Steven Raymond, Allpress and Kyle Connolly - had three hits apiece.The Pirates totaled just three hits off Bankus and Allpress, but were able to take advantage of Bankus' control problems in the second, when two runs walked in and three others plated on RBI singles from Atkins and Austin Paden and an infield out by Wain.That made the score 6-5 after two innings. The Cards notched two runs in the first and four more in the second, both rallies sparked by RBI hits from Kelner.Allpress singled, stole second and scored on a single by Bankus in the fourth as Tracyton earned back a little breathing space.The Cardinals turned on the offensive afterburners in the sixth, getting eight hits - including all three of their doubles - against a quartet of Pirates pitcher and scoring 10 runs. Back-to-back two-run doubles by Bankus and Jeff Dailly were the big blows, and Allpress, Bankus and Dailly all scored twice in the inning.We hit the ball the way we can, the elder Connolly said of his team's batter's box barrage. You don't go through a season undefeated with one tie without being able to hit the ball.Tracyton also beat the Pirates during regular-season play, 10-5. The Cards' only loss was to Tracyton's Cubs, 5-4 in an end-of-season tournament. The Cardinals' overall record was 16-1-1.Allpress, nicked for two hits after taking the mound with the bases loaded in the second, pitched four innings of no-hit ball the rest of the way.He did a great job, Connolly said. We have five or six kids who've pitched for us, but he's been our closer all year long.This is a great way to end our year, said Connolly. Everybody got a chance to be a part of the win."

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