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KEARNEY — Coming off back-to-back losses by a single run, Kearney baseball left little chance of a late-game slip as the Bulldogs powered through a 9-3 victory over Fort Osage Monday, March 29 at Kearney High School.

Kearney did most of its work in the middle innings as it scored four runs in the third and three in the fourth to take an 8-2 advantage.

Freshman Jackson Helberg, senior Lance Bolles and sophomore Kale Conway each had two RBIs and two hits in the game. Senior Carson Frakes joined them with two hits while also having a single RBI.

Senior Moses Woodfin gave the Bulldogs four innings from the mound, earning four strikeouts while allowing two runs. Senior Kyle Burns went two innings with a strikeout while allowing one run.

Freshman Manny Lithacum finished things off in the top of the ninth by earning two strikeouts before the final Fort Osage batter grounded out. Lithacum also earned a hit in the game while senior Nathan Wetzel rounded out the Bulldogs’ scoring efforts with an RBI.

Kearney had lost the previous two games on Saturday, March 27 by the same single-run margin, 7-6 against Blue Springs and 6-5 against Liberty North. In the Blue Springs game, the Bulldogs actually rallied from a five-score deficit with five runs in the seventh inning to tie the game.

The Wildcats hit a walk-off line drive to left field on the third at-bat in the bottom of the seventh. That ended up being the team’s third loss by one run this season and fifth loss by two or less runs through eight games.

Kearney (2-6) faced conference rival Smithville Wednesday, March 31 at Smithville High School. The final result was not available at Courier-Tribune press time.

Sports Writer Mac Moore can be reached at 389-6643 or mac.moore@mycouriertribune.com.

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