NORTH EAST - Eisenhower baseball coach Jon Vincent played a hunch and was rewarded with his team's second victory in the last three outings.
Vincent put untested Ryan Williams on the mound and the junior pitched masterfully, allowing just five runs on six hits in seven innings, helping the Knights to a 10-6 victory over North East on Wednesday.
"Ryan did a wonderful job," said Vincent. "He pitched batting practice the other day and was throwing strikes. I decided to put him out there to try to get me a couple of innings and he just kept going and going. I couldn't have asked for more out of him on the mound today."
The only problem Williams had on the mounds was with balking and that and errors helped North East jump out to a 2-0 lead through four innings. In the top of the fifth, the Knights finally found their offense and quickly got themselves back into the game.
Williams started that off as well, leading off the fifth with a single. He advanced to third when a ball hit by Gunner Schenck was misplayed for an errors. With runners on second and third, Jeb Fedorchuk hit a sacrifice fly to score Williams and Aaron Lundmark's RBI single brought home Schenck to tie the game.
North East would score twice in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-2, but the Knights stormed back in the sixth thanks in part to a variety of Grapepicker miscues. All told, Ike plated five runners in the top of the sixth - all that despite collecting just two hits in the inning. One of those hits was a Schenck RBI single that gave the Knights a 7-4 lead.
As the game entered the top of the seventh, Vincent toyed with the idea of taking Williams out in favor of a closer.
"He said he wanted to stay out there and I told him that if he wanted to, he'd better help us score some more runs," said Vincent. "He came through and got to pitch the rest of the way."
Williams' two-run single score teammates Trevor Spicer (who doubled) and Shane Arford to make it 9-4 and Lundmark's second RBI single of the day closed out the Knights' scoring. North East would add a meaningless run in the bottom of the seventh to close things out at 10-5.
Eric Hastings, Lundmark and Williams led the Knights with two hits each and Aaron Jackson, Spicer, Schenck and Fedorchuk added one each.
The Knights (2-3) return to the diamond Friday, hosting Iroquois in another important region game.
Eisenhower and North East played the junior varsity game to a 4-4 tie. Jake Lewis was 3-for-3 with a double for the Knights.
EISENHOWER (10): ab-r-h-rbi: Hastings, 2b, 5-1-2-0, Lundmark, c, 4-0-2-2, Jackson, 3b, 4-0-1-0, Hunt, lf, 5-0-0-0, Arford, rf, 2-2-0-0, Spicer, ss, 3-2-1-0, Williams, p, 4-1-2-2, Schenck, 1b, 3-3-1-2, Fedorchuk, cf, 1-1-1-1, Totals: 31-10-10-7
NORTH EAST (5): ab-r-h-rbi: Eby, cf, 4-1-2-0, Kitchen, ss, 3-1-1-0, Scotch, c, 4-1-1-1, Koszewski, 1b, 4-0-1-0, Seymour, dh, 4-1-0-0, Hoelke, 2b, 3-1-0-0, Keith, lf, 3-0-1-0, Turri, rf, 2-0-0-0, MacAuley, ph, 1-0-0-0, Thornton, p, 2-0-0-0, Perez, 3b, 1-0-0-0, Totals: 31-5-6-1
Eisenhower 000 025 3 - 10 10
North East 110 020 1 - 5 6
2b-Spicer (E), Keith (N). WP-Williams. LP-Thornton.