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Kennedy beats Crestwood on Kozar walk-off hit PHOTO GALLERY

  • In the second Division 1, Regional 4 semifinal of the day, Kennedy knocked off Crestwood 3-2 and advanced to the championship game against host Saline. Photo gallery by Frank Wladyslawski
  • In the second Division 1, Regional 4 semifinal of the day, Kennedy knocked off Crestwood 3-2 and advanced to the championship game against host Saline. Photo gallery by Frank Wladyslawski
Kennedy pitching allowed only hit on Saturday afternoon against Crestwood, but the Eagles needed late-game heroics in order to win the second Division 1, Region 4 semifinal of the day at Saline.

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Kennedy’s Tim Kozar stepped to the plate and smacked a double to left that allowed Jake McLeod to score and gave the team a 3-2 victory and the right to play Saline next for the regional title.

It was the Eagles who struck first in the game, as Denver Kirk scored on a wild pitch in the second inning and put his team up 1-0.

The Chargers answered with two runs in the top of the third, as Jared Hagan singled to knock in Steven Phillips, who had reached on an error, and then Hagan scored courtesy of a miscue on a ball hit by Colton Dawdy. Overall, Kennedy committed four errors in the contest.

After scoring twice, Crestwood went on to load the bases in the third, with Jacob Ledesma and Nicklaus Sheets both receiving two-out walks, but starting pitcher Cody Serafin was able to get out of the jam with a strikeout.

In both the fourth and fifth, the Chargers had a runner reach third base, but each time he was stranded there.

Still down only a run, Kennedy tied it up in the bottom of the fifth after Serafin dropped a bunt that scored Aaron Ajrouche from third and made it a 2-2 game.

In the following inning, Kozar was unable to score after reaching third base, but in the seventh came through with the game’s big hit and advanced his team to the championship.

On the mound, Eagles ace Tyler Butzin took over for Serafin for the last three innings and struck out seven, didn’t allow a hit and walked only one batter. Serafin finished the day with just one hit allowed, no earned runs, four strikeouts and three walks.

Crestwood starter Tanner Doumont threw 5.2 innings and allowed only one earned run, struck out seven, yielded just two walks and gave up six hits.

Despite the eventual defeat, Chargers Coach Steve Popp said he couldn’t have asked for a better effort from his squad, which last week captured its first district title in 24 years.

“I’m very proud of how they battled today,” he said. “They laid it on the line. Everybody gave it their all, 1-15, it just didn’t work out.”

Last Updated: 6/7/2014 11:44:20 PM EST

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