Father knows best ... again

May 01, 1999|By BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - Welcome to 'Family Feud III'. Or 'Kerns vs. Kerns III'.

Whatever you call it, the Hancock and St. James baseball teams squared off Saturday as Panthers head coach Dan Kerns faced his oldest son, the Saints' coach, Mickey, for the third time since the younger Kerns took over the Saints' program last season.

But when all the hoopla settled, it was Hancock sophomore Doug Steiner who held the greeting cards.

Steiner held St. James in check for six innings, then held on the seventh to beat the Saints, 8-5.

"It was no mystery out there," Mickey Kerns said. "For six innings we didn't hit the ball, and when we got the rally going, it was a case of too little, too late."

Actually, it was a case to too much, not enough. St. James pitchers allowed 14 hits, and Steiner struck out nine by taking control of the bottom of the strike zone.


"Doug Steiner pitched a great game," Mickey Kerns said. "And the Hancock offense hit the ball when they had to."

And they hit the ball with authority.

Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third and with two out, the Panthers sandwiched five singles around a costly St. James throwing error to take a 4-0 lead. The crushing blow was Chris Dobrzanski's three-RBI single up the middle.

"We hit the ball well today," Dan Kerns said. "We have been hitting the ball well all year, but we hit especially well today."

The Panthers also played more than adequate defense, a definite trouble spot this season. But Hancock dug in, especially on Derek Hoffman's leaping grab of a Brandon Boger flyball at the fence in the third.

"We made a lot of nice plays, but to be honest with you, it is just nice to get a win." Dan Kerns said. "So many times this season we self-destructed on defense."

And when the Saints climbed closer, the elder Kerns allowed Steiner to close out the game.

"I wasn't going to take Doug out - it was his game to win or lose." Kerns said. "He got a little wild in that inning, but he has pitched several nice games for us this year so I let him go."

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