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Prep Baseball: Panthers get best end in Kerns rivalry

March 31, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK — Usually, younger brothers follow in an older brother’s footsteps.

On Saturday, Brian Kerns turned the table. He led the way against his older brother Mickey.

Hancock gave Brian the Kerns’ family bragging rights as starting pitcher Vinny Foreman shut down Mickey and Saint James in the Panthers’ 10-2 win in a battle of Washington County baseball teams.

“It is tough playing against your brother, because there is so much emotion involved,” Brian Kerns said. “Somebody is going to be on the short end of the stick.”

Hancock (3-1) got the longer end of the stick, thanks to Foreman, who moved to 1-1 by striking out 10 in six innings. He kept the Saints (1-3) in check, allowing two runs on four hits.

“I kept the ball down and I threw a lot of strikes,” Foreman said. “I just controlled the ball whenever I wanted to. My team gave me some good offensive support and that gave me confidence on the mound. We struggled in the season opener, but then we have shown improvement since then.”

Foreman’s outing allowed the Panthers to settle the Kerns sibling rivalry.

“Vinny Foreman kept the ball down and he stayed ahead of the hitters,” Brian Kerns said. “He was able to control the game. If he throws the ball the way he has in his last couple of outings, then we can have a successful season. I have three pitchers that can throw strikes: Vinny Foreman, Nate Souders and Hunter McKinley. That is the first time that I have ever had that.”

Souders pitched a scoreless seventh inning to seal Hancock’s victory.

Foreman and Souders led the Panthers’ offense with two hits each. Garrett Wiles drove in three runs, while McKinley added a two-run homer.

Garett Blank belted a two-run homer to center in the sixth and Patrick Morris had two doubles to pace the Saints.

“Hancock hit the ball and we didn’t,” Mickey Kerns said. “It was a good game for four innings until Hancock had that big fifth inning. We need to play all seven innings.”

Hancock took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on Wiles’ two-run single to right.

The Panthers blew the game open with six runs in the bottom of the fifth for an 8-0 lead, highlighted by McKinley’s homer and Tanner Faith’s RBI double to center.

Blank’s two-run homer put Saint James on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth.

Hancock finished its scoring with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a bases-loaded walk and an RBI single to left by Darren Lashley.

“We scored when we needed to,” Brian Kerns said. “But there is still room for improvement.”

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Hancock 10, Saint James 2
Saint James    000    002    0    —    2    4    4
Hancock    020    062    x    —    10    12    1
George, Abbott (5), Leatherman (5), Hershey (6) and Blank. Foreman, Souders (7) and Manning. WP — Foreman (1-1). LP — George. HR — SJ: Blank (6th, one on); H: McKinley (5th, one on).

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