Playing in Kauffman Stadium, William Chrisman senior Will Fisher gave a major league-worthy performance.
Fisher threw five scoreless innings and drove in three runs on two hits to lead the Bears to a 5-0 win over Van Horn Saturday in the 2016 High School Baseball Classic.
“Every year we’re pumped to come here and play,” Fisher said of Kauffman. “It’s a different experience. You have all these seats around you and it feels huge. It’s really fun, though.”
Fisher fanned six Falcons and allowed only two hits during his time on the mound. He spent most of the day in a pitcher’s duel with Brandon Borchert, who struck out six in six innings for Van Horn, yielding two earned runs on three hits.
“This was Brandon’s best outing of the year,” Falcons coach Jay Kolster said. “He did a great job spotting the ball and getting out of tough situations by making pitches when he needed to make them. He had his curveball working well on the outer half of the plate and that was enough to keep guys off balance. Then, we’d attack them with fastballs.”
William Chrisman produced all the runs it needed in the top of the first.
With the bases loaded thanks to two hit batters and a single by Damon Montes, Fisher smacked a two-run single to right.
Borchert then retired 13 of the next 14 Bears he faced before plunking Eli Henderson to open the sixth. Following two errors by the Falcons’ defense, Fisher delivered an RBI single for a 3-0 William Chrisman lead.
“Will was outstanding,” Bears coach Tom Campa said. “He came in on a good three to four days rest and spotted his breaking ball well. And he also hit the ball. He had a good combination at the plate and the mound.”
Henderson’s two-run single in the seventh completed the game’s scoring. He took over for Fisher on the mound in the sixth and kept the Van Horn offense at bay for the final two frames.
“My fastball was working well,” Henderson said. “I usually throw more off-speed stuff, but today my fastball was working well. I’ve played here the past two years, but this was a little more special being my senior year and our team getting the win.”
The Bears broke a four-game losing streak to get back to .500 at 6-6.
“I’m impressed with how we played,” Campa said. “We’ve struggled the last few games. But a change of scenery, a change of environment and being able to play in Kauffman Stadium is a big blessing for our kids. We needed that. We needed a picker-upper and that’s what this was.”
Both sides noted multiple times how great it was to play at the home of the Royals.
“Just walking on the field, you wish our field would look like this,” Campa said. “It’s amazing how the level of play raises when you play in a beautiful facility like this.”
Added Kolster: “It’s awesome playing here. We’re grateful that we have this opportunity. Our guys soak it in, but they also know that the infield dimensions are the same as our park and they want to win a baseball game. For a big stage and as young of a group as we have, they played well. It’s a good experience.”
Borchert and Owen Ogo recorded singles for the Falcons.