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HS Baseball: Kennedy Hosts Tournament, Defeats Johnston

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CEDAR RAPIDS Cedar Rapids Kennedy senior Tony Maiers has been so stout behind the plate this season, he's lacked for opportunities to show his stuff on the mound.

Saturday he got his chance, holding Class 4A No. 4 Johnston scoreless for the final two innings in a 6-5 come-from-behind Kennedy win in the third game of the Cougar Invitational.

"It felt good to be on the other end," said Maiers, who gave up three hits and struck out two. "I think also being a catcher it gives me good experience, gives me more knowledge for pitching, (which) also helps me out there."

Playing without leading hitter Derek Jacobus, who suffered an ankle injury on Tuesday, Kennedy trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Stepping up in Jacobus' absence was sophomore Kyle Brewer, who had a pair of RBI singles, and junior Parker Fifield, whose sixth-inning RBI double tied the game. Fifield scored the eventual game-winner on a bases-loaded walk.

"I just kind of reduced it down to a simple situation, and take away the moment," Fifield said of tying the game. "Just another at-bat, took it the other way where he gave it to me, got a double out if it."

Saturday continued a string of highly-ranked opponents for the Cougars (16-12). A day after Monday's sweep of 10th-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier, Cougars were swept by No. 1 Ankeny. Kennedy Coach Bret Hoyer knows this is the caliber of competition his squad will face when substate play begins July 19.

"Just a lot of belief that it doesn't matter who we're playing as long as we play the way we are capable of playing," Hoyer said. "If we play the way we're capable of playing, we'll have an opportunity to win any game against any opponent that we see."

In the opener, North Scott mauled Kennedy 15-3 in five innings, scoring at least two runs in each frame. Brandon Engler drove in five runs with three doubles and a grand slam for the Lancers (15-15). Zach Daniels drove in all three runs for Kennedy. North Scott downed Johnston (18-10) in the middle game, 8-6.

Kennedy plays Monday at Cedar Rapids Jefferson.

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