Kolpien Brothers Help Homestead Top Evansville Central

Steve Krah
PBR Indiana Correspondent

VINCENNES — Brothers Kade and Kaleb Kolpien played major roles in Homestead’s 6-1 high school baseball victory against Evansville Central Friday, March 29 at at Vincennes University’s Jerry Blemker Field.

The game was part of the Vincennes Lincoln tournament, which was altered by rain.

Senior Kade Kolpien, a Taylor University commit, collected three hits and drove in two runs and scored two while catching sophomore left-hander Kaleb Kolpien, who tossed a four-hitter with four
strikeouts and two walks.

“Kade’s a great leader,” said Homestead coach Nick Byall. “He can swing the bat a little bit and handles himself behind the plate. Kaleb’s a quieter guy. He can swing it (on offense). He’s not the most overpowering guy on the mound yet but, man, he’s a pitcher. That’s why we put him out there today. He hits his spots. He mixes it up.”

While pitch calls will come from the Spartans bench, they often let the family dynamic work.

“It’s a strength with brother catching brother,” said Byall. “It’s worked so far.”

Central went down in order against Kaleb Kolpien in the top of the seventh inning with a strikeout, fly-out and groundout.

Homestead tallied four runs against senior right-hander Mitchell Porter to take 6-1 advantage in the bottom of the sixth.

“We finally broke through,” said Byall. “It’s a fun group. They’re learning on the fly, but they’ve got some talent. We’ve got some pieces on the bench that didn’t get a chance tonight. It’s a matter of
finding time for everybody.”

Senior Ryan Lunsford, sophomore Carter Mathison, Kaleb Kolpien and sophomore Graham Kollen drove in runs for Homestead.

No. 9 hitter Lunsford lashed an RBI double to left to drive in sophomore Braeden Hardwick (walk).

Mathison singled to right to score Lunsford.

Lefty swinger Kade Kolpien cracked a single to right to knock in Mathison.

Kollen lofted a double to left to chase Kade Kolpien across the plate.

Kollen was out trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

Spartans catcher Kade Kolpien threw out sophomore Henry Brown attempting to steal second base to end a scoreless top of the sixth for the Bears.

Brown was on base against Kaleb Kolpien on a fielder’s choice.

“It’s something every coach and manager preaches is first-pitch strikes,” said Central coach Mike Goede. “(Porter) just got in a hole to those guys in the last inning and they got a good bat on the ball.”

Homestead (2-1) left the bases loaded in a score-free bottom of the fifth.

Porter relieved sophomore right-hander Brenen Masterson with two outs and the bases loaded. On a full-count pitch, Porter got the batter to ground to senior third baseman Austin Frasier who tagged out the approaching runner to end the rally.

Central pulled to within 2-1 with one run in the top of the fifth.

Senior Nathan McVeigh broke up Kaleb Kolpien’s no-hit bid with a lead-off single to center.

Senior courtesy runner Isaac Carter stole second base, moved to third on a deep fly-out by sophomore Garrett Causey and scored on a wild pitch.

After a two-out infield single by junior Cole Guetling, Frasier singled to center and Homestead senior center fielder Will Ferguson fired to catcher Kade Kolpien to retire junior pinch runner Kade McKeethen at the plate for the third out."

Masterson put all three Spartan batters away with two strikeouts and and a groundout in a scoreless bottom of the fourth.

The Bears went scoreless in the top of the fourth.

Homestead turned a double play — junior shortstop Eli MacDonald to second baseman Lunsford to junior first baseman Nik Martin — for the first two outs. The third out was a groundout with Martin making the scoop at first base.

The Spartans went ahead 2-0 when Kade Kolpien slugged a 2-0 Masterson delivery for a home run to open the bottom of the third.

Central catcher McVeigh threw out MacDonald (who reached on an error) attempting to steal third for the first out and Masterson coaxed a flyout and groundout to get out of the inning.

A score-free top of the Central third ended with Homestead catcher Kade Kolpien picking off a runner at first base.

Junior Cade Serletic drew a two-out walk from Kolpien and was caught off first to close out the frame.

Masterson worked in and out of a jam and held Homestead scoreless in the bottom of the second.

Bears left fielder Serletic took a hit away from Kaleb Kolpien with a diving catch to lead off the inning.

The Spartans loaded the bases — Hardwick (infield single), Lunsford (walk) and Ferguson (hit by pitch) — with two outs before Masterson racked up a caught-looking strikeout to end the threat.

Central (0-2) went down in order against Kaleb Kolpien in the top of the second with a infield pop and two strikeouts.

Homestead scored one run against Masterson in the bottom of the first.

MacDonald’s two-out single to left plated Mathison with the game’s first tally.

Mathison singled to right and moved to second base on an error and third base on a fly-out off the bat of Kade Kolpien snagged in foul territory by senior shortstop Kody Putnam.

The Bears went down 1-2-3 against Kaleb Kolpien in the top of the first with two fly-outs and a strikeout.

Goedde said mental mistakes led to some physical mistakes for his club.

“There were some things that don’t show up the naked eye sitting in the stands, but you see it as you’re coaching,” said Goedde. “How are you rounding a base? How do you steal a base? Are you getting the signs right? Things like that. We battled much better than we did the other day.”

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