The Kenosha Kingfish opened their inaugural season with a dominating 14-0 victory over the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters on Tuesday Night.
Josh “Rico” Garcia, a sophomore from Hawaii Pacific, started on the mound for the Kingfish and continued his success from school in his first start. Garcia recorded the first ever strikeout for the Kingfish in the 1st inning, on his way to striking out 5 hitters in 6 innings of shutout work. The workhorse right-handed pitcher retired 15 batters in a row at one point before finally giving up a hit in the bottom of the 6th inning.
The Kingfish bats came alive starting in the first inning as leadoff hitter Kyle Brooks, from the University of North Florida, recorded the first ever Kingfish hit with an infield single to start the game. Brooks also scored the first Kingfish run in the same inning to take a 1-0 lead.
Brooks singled in the top of the second inning to score Kyle Sisler, recording his second hit of the season and the Kingfish led 2-0 after 2 innings of play. Zach Ratcliff stepped up to the plate in the 3rd inning and crushed the first Kingfish home run of the season, a 2-run homer scoring Taylor Douglass to take a 4-0 lead.
The offense continued to shine throughout the game as the Kingfish added 5 more runs in the fifth as well as 2 runs in the both the 6th and 7th inning. Caleb Howell, who hit .420 for Eastern Illinois this season, continued his fine hitting and went 5-6 on the evening.
At the end of the 7th, the Kingfish led 14-0. The Kingfish continued the shutout into the 7th and 8th inning thanks to the work of relief pitchers Zach Morgenstern, Trevor Haas and J.D. Nielson. Throughout the combined shutout effort, the Kingfish allowed only 4 hits while racking up 7 strikeouts on the night.
The Kingfish take on the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters again tomorrow at Witter Field and then head on the road for a 2-game trip to Green Bay. The Kingfish return home to a newly renovated historic Simmons Field to take on the Mankato MoonDogs on Saturday, May 31st at 6:05 pm for their home opener.
The Kingfish office is located at 7817 Sheridan Road and is open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday. For more information on 7-game packs, season or group tickets, please log on to kingfishbaseball.com or call 262.653.0900.