Coming off last year’s historic season, the Colusa RedHawk baseball team opened 2023 by splitting a twin bill with Kelseyville last Friday at home.
In the early game, which was just a five-inning contest, the RedHawks finished on the short end of a 5-4 score.
This season’s ace, Luke Kalfsbeek, got the start and turned in three solid innings on the mound where he struck out seven and yielded no earned runs, then at the plate drove in the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning to help his cause.
Colusa tacked on three more runs in the home half of the second, when, with the bases loaded, Adan Travis singled to the pitcher to plate Seth Kalisuch.
Then, with the bases still loaded, Joel Magallon, who played in the RedHawks’ state championship basketball game less than 24 hours prior, delivered a single to right to score Peyton Humphrey for the RedHawks’ third run.
To complete the scoring in the frame, newcomer Sutter Moss knocked in Cane Nall to make the score 4-2.
However, the Knights put three on the board in their half of fourth, then closed out Colusa in the bottom of the fifth to earn the win.
Kalisuch finished 2 for 2, with Magallon and Moss each going 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Yet, the RedHawks turned the tables in the nightcap, as they walked off for the 6-5 victory.
Down 1-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, Colusa took a 4-1 lead after singles by Nall and Kalfsbeek, while the RedHawks also capitalized on two Kelseyville miscues.
As in the previous game, though, the Knights fought back and regained the advantage 5-4 in the fifth inning.
Still, the RedHawks were able to answer after Nall singled to center to drive in Humphrey, who had doubled to reach base.
With the score tied at 5-5, Humphrey then took to the mound, where he kept the Knights off the board in the sixth, working around a walk to the leadoff batter.
Relieving Humphrey in the seventh was Moss, who got the RedHawks off the field, retiring the three batters he faced.
In the last half of the frame, Colusa got right to work, loading the bases with a single by Humphrey, a walk to Nall, and a bunt single by Travis, to set the stage for Magallon, who, on an 0-2 count, laced a single to right for the walk off.
Nall led the way at the plate going 2 for 3 with two RBI, Humphrey finished 2 for 4 with a double, Magallon and Kalfsbeek each had RBI singles, while Travis and Bo Coronado also recorded a hit apiece.
Colusa now gears up for its Mike West Invitational Tournament with its first games scheduled for Friday, although weather may have moved the start to mid-week.■