Deerfield baseball dusts off Sherwood, 11-1

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Pressure -- it steams and bakes, and boils and broils, and tends to crack anything in its path.

But you can throw it on Banks Kinslow, pour it on him, soak him and try to drown him in pressure.

It won't matter.

Not for Kinslow, one of those once-in-a-lifetime kids who comes along and just does everything well, everything better, everything you need him to do.

There he was Friday evening, a living nightmare for Sherwood Christian, beating the Eagles once again.

This time it was on the diamond, where Kinslow went the distance on the mound, smacked a three-run homer and drove in four runs to lift Deerfield-Windsor to an 11-1 six-inning win that dampened the opening of SCA's beautiful ball field at Legacy Park.

The good news for SCA? Kinslow will graduate from DWS soon.

"That will be good news across the board for all sports,'' said SCA A.D. and baseball coach Alan McWilliams. "For football, basketball and baseball.''

The numbers are staggering.

Kinslow, who led DWS to the GISA Class AAA state football title, threw a TD and ran for a TD to beat SCA last autumn. He scored 50 points in two games to sweep the Eagles in basketball, and he did it again Friday, slamming the door with a razor-tough performance on the mound.

And Sherwood (2-4 and 1-3 in region 3-AAA) almost got him early.

The Eagles loaded the bases on a hit, an error and a walk with one out in the first.

Pressure, right?

"No, I like the pressure,'' Kinslow said. "I've always been that kind of person. That's why I play the game. If you don't have pressure, there's no thrill. I like it because of the atmosphere the game presents. On every pitch you don't know what's going to happen.''

They had a good idea what might happen at DWS.

"When the bases were loaded in the first, I was thinking, 'He is going to get out of it,' '' DWS catcher Gil Gillespie said. "He's a competitor.''

Kinslow was thinking one thing: "I knew I had to throw strikes.''

He did. He needed just three pitches to strike out Brett Shepard, who went down looking at a curve. Then needed just two more pitches to get Josh Holwick to pop out to second. The threat was over.

Kinslow then became the essence of efficiency, retiring seven in a row on just 14 pitches. He finally gave up a run in the fifth when Andrew Lanier's two-out RBI single drove in Cass Stutz, who had singled.

But Kinslow, who struck out four while allowing just five hits, had already turned the game around in third when he blasted a three-run homer to right. He would have had a grand slam, but Michael Laslie scored on a wild pitch just before Kinslow hit his second homer of the season. Kinslow drove in another run in the fourth when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give DWS a 6-0 lead.

The Knights (7-2 and 3-0 in Region 3-AAA) put the game away with a five-run fifth.

Gillespie doubled, Webb Harris had an RBI single, and Kinslow walked. Then Chris Moates ripped a two-run double. Rhett Cooper doubled in a run and Lindsey Short had an RBI single.

Zane Hood took the loss for SCA. Hood was sharp early, retiring the first seven batters, but walked four in the third, and left after four innings. He walked six and hit a batter, while allowing just two hits.

He had trouble with the bottom of the order as Matt Moree walked and tripled and scored twice, and Gillespie walked twice and tripled and scored three times.

"We're starting to play a little better,'' said DWS coach Rod Murray, whose team has won four in a row. "We've got seven seniors on this team and every day each one of them brings something special.''

And Kinslow?

"He's been a good one for a lot of sports,'' Murray said. "They have a good team, and (Kinslow) did a great job getting out of that first inning. That could have been a big inning for them. But he got out of it.''

Sure, no pressure -- no pressure at all.