Buchholz celebrates Senior Night with shutout win

Buchholz's Anthony Wilkie scores the Bobcats' first run on a slide into home plate against Forest.
Buchholz's Anthony Wilkie scores the Bobcats' first run on a slide into home plate against Forest.
Photo by C.J. Gish

After the Buchholz baseball team celebrated their six seniors on Tuesday before their game against Forest (Ocala), it was a sophomore on the mound that dominated for the Bobcats.

Sophomore Aiden Kastensmidt scattered five hits over six innings with nine strikeouts as the host Bobcats slipped past Forest, 3-0, at Buchholz Field.

Kastensmidt (2-2) struck out the side in the third and had at least one strikeout in every inning as Forest (16-7) only advanced only one runner to third base the entire game. Junior Wyatt Clarke pitched the seventh inning for his fourth save.

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Buchholz pitcher Aidan Kastensmidt pitched six scoreless innings while striking out nine Forest batters in a 3-0 win.
Photo by C.J. Gish Buchholz pitcher Aidan Kastensmidt pitched six scoreless innings while striking out nine Forest batters in a 3-0 win.

“With three games in three days we needed Aiden to eat some innings for us,” Buchholz coach Ron Brooks said. “He throws strikes and competes on the mound and we thought it would be a good way to start this week.”

Buchholz will host Lincoln (Tallahassee) on Wednesday and Mandarin (Jacksonville) on Thursday to close out the regular season.

Buchholz (15-8) got all the runs they would need in the second inning against Forest starter Kohl Kilcrease (4-1). With one out, senior and Clemson signee Anthony Wilkie reached on an error by Forest shortstop Rob Kohler.

With two outs, senior Austin Cardozo came through with a two-out single to right field and Wilkie beat the throw home for a 1-0 lead. The Bobcats made it 2-0 as junior Kai So singled in Cardozo.

Buchholz's Cooper Collins with a first inning stolen base against Forest.
Photo by C.J. Gish Buchholz’s Cooper Collins with a first inning stolen base against Forest.

Buchholz added another unearned run in the fifth inning for a 3-0 advantage. Senior and UCF signee Noah Hayse led off the inning with a single and, with two outs, senior Conner Brown tried a swinging bunt in front of the plate. Forest catcher Javier Molina threw the ball down the first base line as courtesy runner Trace Johnson scored from third base.

Forest’s best opportunity came in the sixth inning against Kastensmidt, but he struck out Klicrease with runners at first and second and two outs to end the Wildcats threat.

The win gave Buchholz a season sweep of Forest, as the Bobcats won in Ocala, 21-6, on March 19.

“We knew this wouldn’t be the same as the first game,” Brooks said. “They didn’t play up to their capabilities before. But we played really well tonight on the mound, defensively, and offensively.”

Brooks had plenty of compliments for his senior class of Cardozo, Wilkie, Brown, Hayse, Davidson signee Cooper Collins and Austin Middleton.

“They are all outstanding young men, they are all fun to coach, and they’ve had a lot of success here at Buchholz, so it was good to see them get a win tonight.”

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