Adam Ketelsen absolutely loves pitching for the Kirkwood Eagles, who feature one of the most potent baseball teams in America.
And the Eagles love having Ketelsen on the mound as he continues to mow down batters this season.
Ketelsen and the fourth-ranked Eagles were a formidable combination again Tuesday as they swept Iowa Lakes, 11-1 and 13-3, in their ICCAC conference doubleheader at Kirkwood.
Both mismatches lasted only five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Kirkwood raised its sparkling records to 25-4 overall and 9-1 in the ICCAC, good for a two-game lead in the conference.
Ketelsen, a 6-foot-3 lefty from Mount Vernon, struck out 10 batters in five innings in the 11-1 victory in the opener, putting him a 5-0 record and 2.16 ERA. He's fanned 47 batters in 29.1 innings, a ratio of 1.6 strikeouts per frame.
Ketelsen loves pitching for a club that's averaging 10.1 runs per game, having scored 292 times in 29 contests.
"It's really comforting," he said. "You go out there and you know the guys are going to put up runs.
"It's nice, because you know they're going to take care of you, so you just have to battle and throw strikes and hopefully give up less than 10 runs."
Ketelsen struck out the side in the fourth inning, part of a stretch where he whiffed five straight guys. All three of his pitches were working for him on another chilly day at the ballpark.
"It's sad to say, but we're getting used to playing in this stuff," he said. "You just try to stay hot and when you go in (the dugout) put your coat on and keep your hands as warm as best you can and just hope you keep your touch."
Ketelsen did exactly that, allowing one earned run on four hits. He walked two batters.
"The change-up was really good, which is big," he said. "I've been throwing basically fastball-curveball, but the last couple of weeks I've been mixing in the change-up. So that was big to have three pitches. It keeps hitters off-balance."
Ketelsen's fastball is normally in the mid-80's to high-80's, with an occasional 90 mph heater along the way.
Ketelsen, a sophomore, is drawing a lot of attention from NCAA Division I schools and has DI offers from Southern Illinois, Central Michigan and Eastern Illinois.
"I've got a lot of people calling," he said. "Southern and Central are my top-two right now.
"I feel really comfortable with both those programs. So I feel really good with where I'm at."
Ketelsen began college in 2016 at Winona State, but transferred to Kirkwood after one semester. He appeared in 12 games last season, with two starts, and has been a mainstay this year. He thanks the Kirkwood coaches for giving him a spot and working with his pitching.
"I don't know where I'd be without those guys," he said. "I'm so thankful I'm here at Kirkwood. They've given me such an opportunity and I'm trying to make the most of it."
Kirkwood scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning of the opener for a walk-off victory at 11-1. Taylor Jackson and Izaya Fullard were both 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Ross Kramer belted a two-run homer and was 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Spencer Wiskus also had two hits.
The Eagles trailed 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning of the second game, but they exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fourth and put another six-spot on the board in the fifth inning for the 13-3 verdict and another walk-off victory.
Cal Stalzer (4-2) pitched a complete game for the Eagles. He allowed four hits and three runs, with seven strikeouts and only one walk.
Kirkwood swept the four-game series from Iowa Lakes (9-19, 2-10).
Kirkwood hosts Heartland in a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Iowa Lakes 001 00 - 1 4 1
Kirkwood 022 16 - 11 14 1
W - Ketelsen (5-0).
Iowa Lakes 201 00 - 3 4 1
Kirkwood 100 66 - 13 10 0
W - Stalzer (4-2).