Chase Kemp missed the Brazos Valley Bombers’ game Monday with red, puffy eyes because of infected contacts.
There was nothing wrong with Kemp’s vision Tuesday night as he went 3 for 3 including a booming homer to power the Bombers to a 4-1 victory over the Acadiana Cane Cutters in Texas Collegiate League play at Travis Park.
“I could wear my contacts, and I was looking for fastballs early in the count, good pitches I could do damage with and take it from there,” Kemp said.
The left-handed hitting Kemp did his most damage in the sixth inning. He turned on a 2-0 fastball from left-hander Hunter Meche and launched one of the longest home runs hit in the Bombers’ 13 years in the wooden-bat league.
“It’s hard to tell” Kemp said when asked how far his homer travelled. “I mean, you can never really tell how far they go when it’s way over the fence.”
Kemp’s high drive disappeared into a dark blue sky that caused Acadiana outfielders to lose three balls in the lights, though they recovered to make catches. There was no catching Kemp’s two-run drive that gave the Bombers a 3-0 lead.
“I watched it a little bit,” Kemp admitted.
Kemp added an RBI single in the eighth as the Bombers (22-7) snapped back from back-to-back losses at Acadiana (8-20). The Cane Cutters, which finished in last place in the TCL’s first-half race, opened the second half with a two-hitter in Sunday’s 7-0 victory, then scored three in the ninth Monday for a 4-3 victory.
“Last night we just played sloppy baseball and didn’t do what it takes to win,” Kemp said. “We played better baseball tonight. We played as a team.”
Sophomore Logan Teske pitched six shutout innings, throwing only 77 pitches. He allowed three hits and struck out three. Acadiana was 0 for 4 against the right-hander with runners in scoring position.
The Cane Cutters nicked reliever Amado Almanzar for a run in the seventh, cashing in a leadoff double by Zavier Moore.
Brazos Valley’s John Altman from College Station worked a perfect eighth inning, and Texas A&M signee Cameron Wynn worked a hitless ninth, striking out two. Bomber pitchers walked only two batters and hit one, while Acadiana walked five and hit two.
The Bombers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, turning a leadoff single by Bryant Shellenbarger into a run thanks to two wild pitches. Acadiana walked a batter later in the inning with one out then hit back-to-back batters on back-to-back pitches by different pitchers to load the bases, but the Bombers couldn’t add to their lead.
Cole Coker set the stage in the sixth for Kemp, his teammate at Lamar, with a one-out single. Kemp hit two long foul balls before lining a shot over the second baseman.
Coker added a two-out single in the eighth. Kyle Bergeron then walked, and they pulled off a double steal, allowing Coker to score on Kemp’s grounder to deep shortstop.
The Bombers outhit the Cane Cutters 6-5 with no errors in the well-played game.
NOTES — Acadiana’s Trace Henry got hit by a pitch in the batting helmet with the ball glancing off his jaw in the sixth inning. He eventually walked off on his own, and the team said he was OK, but he was taken to Scott & White Hospital for observation. ... The win was the first for the Bombers in the second half. It had been incorrectly reported that the second half started after the All-Star break. The second half started Sunday. ... The two teams will play at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.