CEDAR RAPIDS - The Cedar Rapids Kennedy girls' swimming team has never shied away from tough competition.
The Cougars received a healthy dose of it at their invitational.
Kennedy won two events, was runner-up in three more and ... »
VAN HORNE — Benton Community’s Spencer Touro possesses a competitive streak.
The trait might have developed naturally, but it is a safe bet it was enhanced by growing up with two older brothers and an older sister.
“I’m the youngest of four,” Touro said with a smile. “Always getting picked on by my siblings helped out.”
The sophomore right-hander was unfazed while on the mound, helping Benton Community to a 2-1 victory in the opener of a doubleheader split against Western Dubuque last night at Manship field. Western Dubuque won the nightcap, 6-2.
Touro tossed a complete game two-hitter, improving his record to 4-1 and shrinking his 1.29 earned-run average before the game. For what Touro doesn’t have in velocity, he made up for with strong command and changing speeds to keep Western Dubuque off balance.
“I’m very happy,” said Touro, who also plays football, basketball and golf. “I was hitting my spots well. My defense was backing me up.”
Benton Community Coach Derek Anderson said Touro’s performance was indicative of his previous three victories. He only allowed multiple base runners in one inning.
“He’s commanded the strike zone,” said Anderson, noting Touro’s ability to get two to three pitches over the plate regularly. “He’s competitor.”
He exhibited it during a crucial fourth inning with the scored tied, 1-1. An error, walk and botched fielding play on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases and none out for Western Dubuque.
Touro buckled down, getting a fly ball, line drive out and strikeout to thwart the rally. Benton Community (16-12) rewarded him with the winning run in the bottom of the inning when Brady Kraus drew a one-out walk, stole second and then scored when an errant throw sailed into left field on a steal of third.
“It boosted my confidence the rest of the game,” Touro said. “I didn’t have any tough situations after that.”
He stifled Western Dubuque the rest of the game, surrendering two base runners in the final three innings.
“He has a lot of maturity for a sophomore,” Anderson said. “He has that bulldog mentality you want.”
Touro also helped manufacture the first run of the game. He walked. Courtesy runner Kam Korsmo moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out throwing error.
In the nightcap, Western Dubuque (18-7) produced key hits to drive in two runs in each fifth and sixth innings.
Nick Lembezeder and eighth-grader Calvin Harris had consecutive RBI hits to give Western Dubuque a 4-2 lead. Western Dubuque pulled away with a two-run single from Gregory Bennett. Lembezeder and Harris finished with two hits apiece in the second game. Harris had two RBIs.
“We had several kids step up in the second game,” Western Dubuque Coach Casey Bryant said. “You have to get key two-out hits to beat them.
Freshman Sam Goodman earned the victory for Western Dubuque. He threw six innings, scattering eight hits and striking out seven. He started slow, giving up a leadoff double to Riley Pfiffner, who scored on Cale Jamesson’s double in the first. Nash Martensen added an RBI single to make it 2-0 Benton Community. He allowed little else.
“He had a bit of a rough start,” Bryant said of Goodman. “He really settled down and pitched well.”
l Comments: (319) 368-8679; email@example.com