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Kennedy earns back-to-back district titles PHOTO GALLERY

  • Kennedy jumped out to an early lead in Saturday's Division 1, District 14 final and knocked off Carlson 6-1 for its second consecutive title. Photo gallery by Frank Wladyslawski
Click here for Kennedy vs. Woodhaven district semifinal story and photo gallery

Click here for photo gallery of Kennedy celebrating district title

Soon after beating Woodhaven by 10 runs in the district semifinal, the Kennedy Eagles and starting pitcher Tyler Butzin picked up right where they left off.

After throwing six no-hit innings against the Warriors, Butzin tossed four more innings against Carlson and helped the Eagles repeat as district champs with a 6-1 victory.

Next up for Kennedy is Division 1 regionals on Saturday at Saline, where the squad will face Crestwood in the first round and with a win would advance to take on either Lincoln Park or the host Hornets for the regional crown.

In total 10 innings of work on Saturday, Butzin earned two victories, combined for 15 strikeouts and allowed just one earned run, two hits and one walk.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” Butzin said. “But (by) pulling through and being a bulldog…as I went on I knew I could do it. I was just focusing on mechanics, just trying to throw strikes, even if I wasn’t throwing as hard as I could, that was mostly the key.”

Offensively, the Kennedy bats were booming early against the Marauders, as they put up four runs in the first, along with one in the second and one in the third.

Aaron Ajrouche led off the game with a double and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly from Cody Serafin. Butzin bunted his way on and courtesy runner Alex Reynolds came in to score on a Jake McLeod double to make it 2-0.

A Jalen Bartos double then plated McLeod and a single by Raymond Richard brought him home, giving Kennedy a 4-0 advantage.

At times this season, that kind of offensive production has been hard to come by, but on Saturday the hits kept coming, much to the delight of Eagles Coach Corey Farner.

“In reality the thing that is our staple is our pitching and today our bats woke up and they woke up in a big way and really that’s what set us apart,” Farner said. “When you’ve got good pitching and good hitting like that we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”

To lead off the second inning, catcher Dion Craig doubled and later in the inning courtesy runner Mateo Perez scored on a ground ball hit by Butzin and in the third the Eagles went up 6-0 on a single by Craig that scored Tim Kozar.

For Carlson, Steve McIsaac came on early in relief of starting pitcher Andrew Coleman and was strong in 5.2 innings of work, as he allowed only two earned runs, five hits, four walks and he struck out five batters.

The Marauders got their lone run in the bottom of the third inning, courtesy of an Austin Francis ground ball that plated Anthony Martucci.

Carlson’s three hits in the game belonged to Martucci, Coleman and Ryan Kroll.

For the last three innings, Serafin came on in relief of Butzin and threw three scoreless innings. Serafin allowed only hit, struck out two batters and didn’t yield a walk.

For Kennedy, Craig was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI, while one hit each came from Butzin, Ajrouche, Kozar, Richard, Bartos, McLeod and Corey Foster. Also, one RBI was earned by Craig, Bartos, Butzin, McLeod, Richard and Serafin.

Saturday’s regional game at Saline, against Crestwood, is scheduled to be played at noon.

Last Updated: 6/1/2014 8:59:12 PM EST

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