CLINTON, S.C. – Lefty Brian Kehner tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed just two hits with a career-high 10 strikeouts against no walks, as PC shutout La Salle, 6-0, on Saturday afternoon at the PC Baseball Complex. The Blue Hose even the series at one game apiece and will look for its second straight series win in the rubber match at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Kehner (3-0) earned his third victory of the season in as many as starts and lowered his ERA to 0.47 on the season. The 10 strikeouts rank tied for second-most in a single game by a PC pitcher in the school’s Division I history and are the most since 2013 when Chandler Knox also tallied 10 punchouts. As a team, PC pitching combined to record a Division I era school-record 15 strikeouts in the win.
Colton Springs and Hayden Deal each tossed a scoreless inning in relief to complete the shutout. It was the first shutout by PC since April 11, 2014 when the Blue Hose shut out Winthrop by the same score of 6-0.
PC had another strong day at the plate as well, tallying 11 hits with seven of the nine starters getting a hit. Jacob Midkiff recorded his fourth straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Blue Hose at the plate. Peter Johnson continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-3 day with a walk, a run and an RBI out of the three spot in the lineup. Tyler Weyenberg added two hits and two runs, while AJ Priaulx recorded two hits with a run and an RBI.
PC got on the board with two runs in the second inning. Priaulx led off the inning with a single and Weston Jackson followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Midkiff then singled to score both and give PC the 2-0 lead.
The Blue Hose added a run in the third to extend the lead to 3-0. Weyenberg led off the inning with a single and later moved to second on an error by the pitcher. Johnson then singled to center to plate Weyenberg from second to make it a three-run lead.
PC tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning. With one out, Weyenberg reached on a bunt single past the pitcher and then later stole second. Johnson followed with an infield single to put runners on first and third. Priaulx then singled through the right side to score Weyenberg, before Midkiff doubled home Johnson to make it 5-0 two batters later.
PC got its final run of the game in the eighth. Cletis Avery singled to right with one out and later stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Brett Auckland hit a sac fly to center to score the runner from third and give the Blue Hose a 6-0 lead.
Kehner retired the first seven batters he faced in order and retired the last 10 he faced without a blemish. He allowed just lone hits in the third and fourth innings and recorded at least one strikeout in each of his seven innings. Springs recorded two of the outs in eighth via the strikeout, before Deal struck out the side in the ninth. PC entered the weekend leading the conference in strikeouts per nine innings and now holds a 9.6 mark in that category.