116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Fourteen straight innings of shutout ball have Cedar Rapids Kennedy feeling like it’s heading in the right direction. One night after topping crosstown rival Cedar Rapids Washington, 8-0, the Cougars blanked the Warriors again. Behind an increasingly dominant effort on the mound from Mason Behn, Kennedy (17-10-1) defeated the Warriors, 4-0, Tuesday night at Washington High School.
“Super proud of them,” Kennedy head coach Bret Hoyer said. “It’s been a focus of ours since as long as I’ve been at Kennedy. We want to be known for our pitching and defense.”
“I felt pretty good,” Behn said. “There were a couple of times I couldn’t find a grip on the mound. I got used to it in the third inning or so and kept cruising from there.”
The common refrain is that the more times a pitcher goes through a lineup, the more familiar the batter becomes with what’s coming. Behn threw that logic out the window. For the Warriors (7-21), contact became increasingly difficult to find as the night wore on. Pounding the bottom of the zone, Behn notched six of his seven strikeouts after the third inning, with his velocity appearing to jump a few ticks over the last few frames. He struck out the side in the fifth.
“That’s how it usually feels,” Behn said. “I keep getting stronger every time I go out there. I just feel more comfortable out there. More relaxed, and I just want to keep fighting for my teammates out there.”
“Hopefully that’s a sign of (Behn) still figuring things out,” Hoyer said. “He’s coming off surgery and it’s been a process for him to get back into the form he’s capable of.”
Behn tossed a complete game three-hitter.
The Warriors were poised to hang around until the Cougars’ 4, 5, and 6 hitters made their way through the order a few times. Dylan Davis, Colby Dolphin and Trevor Scott combined to go 6-for-8, accounting for three runs and three RBIs during their first three trips to the plate. Davis followed up a second-inning triple by crushing a line drive over the left-field fence for his eighth home run of the season and 39th RBI.
Dolphin finished the evening 3-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases.
Jabari Dobbs came on for the Warriors in relief, finally taming the middle of the Kennedy order, but on the back of Behn’s effort, the damage had been done.
“Everyone’s aware of our first four hitters,” Hoyer said. “They’ve been having a really solid year. It’s nice to see we’re starting to build a little bit more depth for our offense.”