Another strong outing by Millard West pitcher Kael Dumont led to a championship Saturday at the Monarch Invitational.
The senior right-hander tossed a four-hit shutout as the Wildcats defeated Lincoln Southeast 4-0 in the title game at Fricke Field. Dumont struck out eight and did not walk a batter as Millard West moved to 19-8.
“All four of my pitches were working for me,” he said. “And it was a little warmer out today so that was nice.”
The fourth-ranked Wildcats gave Dumont the only offense he needed with a run in the second inning. Millard West tacked on three more in the fifth, highlighted by a solo home run from Avery Moore.
“That one felt good,” Moore said. “I caught it pretty well and hit it through the wind.”
It was the fourth straight win for Millard West, which finished as the runner-up in last week’s Metro Conference tourney.
It also was a measure of revenge for Dumont, who surrendered three first-inning runs in a 4-3 loss to Southeast on March 27.
“It was a little bit of payback today,” he said. “I think we all wanted to get our revenge.”
Dumont’s toughest inning was the first, when David Swanson and Will Jesske had one-out singles. But he got Connor Wilken to fly out and then posted his first strikeout against Will Barrett to retire the side.
“When Kael goes out there, we always feel like we have a chance to win,” Wildcats coach Steve Frey said. “He’s around the plate with his pitches and he’s been doing that all season.”
Millard West went ahead on an RBI triple by catcher Tyler Merkel. Three more runs scored in the fifth on an RBI single by Maddux Fleck, a wild pitch and Moore’s homer over the left-field fence.
The junior center fielder also homered Wednesday in the Wildcats’ 1-0 win at Millard North.
“We went through a rough patch in the season but we’ve moved on from that,” Moore said. “Hopefully we can keep it going.”
The Knights stranded a pair of runners in the sixth and one in the seventh as Dumont finished off his shutout by getting pinch-hitter Jacob Aldridge on a comebacker.
He outdueled Southeast starter Blake Avila, who allowed one run and one hit over the first four innings.
“Blake is a sophomore who’s only had two varsity starts,” Knights coach Montana Jones said. “He hung in there and gave us a chance but it was an off day for us offensively.”
It was the first time this season that Southeast, which averages almost seven runs per game, has been shut out.
Frey said the tournament title was a nice momentum-builder as the season winds down.
“It’s absolutely that time of year,” Frey said. “This is the time when you want to be playing your best.”
Lincoln Southeast (12-9)......000 000 0—0 4 1
Millard West (19-8)...............010 030 x—4 4 1
W: Dumont. L: Avila. 3B: MW, Merkel. HR: MW, Moore.