Lumber Company: Knights bust out for 21 runs in Backyard Brawl win
Eisenhower scored multiple runs in all six innings and put away a pesky Youngsville squad, 21-9, Wednesday at Werner Park.
The Knights (2-5 overall, 2-5 Region 3) had opportunities to end the game via the 10-run rule, but the Eagles (0-6, 0-5) scored four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to prolong the game.
“The kids have worked hard all year. We’re working hard and developing fundamentals,” Eisenhower coach Joe Troxell said. “We’re just having trouble putting it all together.”
Though the game was played at Werner Park, it had originally been scheduled as Eisenhower at Youngsville. The venue changed due to weather conditions, but the Eagles still played as the home team.
Eisenhower struck early and often in this one, though the Knights were nearly shut out in the first. Drew Williams was hit by a pitch to start the game and Drake Gens singled to move him to third. Gens was able to steal second without a throw and the Knights had runners at second and third with no outs.
Eagles pitcher Sam Hoover got Nick Smelko to fly out to shallow center, holding Williams at third, and struck out Dakota Chase to give himself a chance to escape the jam. Zach Rohlin stepped in a roped a single to left on the first pitch he saw to plate Williams and Gens and put the Knights up 2-0.
Teagan Gray followed with a single and Jared Beers scored Rohlin with a liner to center, making it 3-0.
Youngsville got its first run in the bottom half. Alex Kemery was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to second and third on a pair of balks. Gens induced a pair of groundouts, but Jacob DeSimone ripped a single to left to score Kemery and cut the lead to 3-1 after one.
The Knights answered with a four-spot in the second. The first run scored due to a pair of Eagles errors, then back-to-back singles from Gray and Beers scored three more to put the Knights up 7-1.
An error and a pair of walks in the third set the table for Rohlin and his ground ball to third scored a pair while he reached on an error to put the Knights up 9-1. Dakota Chase scored on a wild pitch and, with two outs, Rohlin scored as Beers reached on an error, giving Eisenhower an 11-1 lead.
The Eagles were able to get another one in the home half of the inning. A pair of walks and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out. Another wild pitch allowed Hoover to scoot home to make it 11-2. Smelko and Chase hit RBI singles and Dillon Benson reached on error to score two more as Eisenhower pushed the lead to 15-2 in the fourth.
Needing to close the gap, the Eagles responded with a big inning of their own. DeSimone had a 2 RBI single, Gavin Horner reached on an error allowing another two runs to score and Dylan Burt followed with a RBI double to make it 15-6 after four.
The Knights got a run back on a passed ball and a sac fly from Smelko plated another to make it 17-6.
Youngsville came right back to score three in the bottom of the fifth. The first three batters walked to load the bases with no outs. Nyko Mercado ripped a grounder to second, but the Knights were only able to get a single out and a run scored. A wild pitch plated another and Hoover’s ground out scored the third to make it 17-9 heading into the sixth.
Rohlin singled to lead off the sixth and moved to second on the throw in. He stole third and ran home as the throw sailed into left field. Gray walked and moved himself to third before Owen Trumbull reached on a dropped third strike. The drop turned into a passed ball allowing Gray to score. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Gens who drilled a sac fly to center. Another pair of back-to-back walks plated the final run.
The Eagles got a pair of runners on, but Rohlin got Dominic Walton to pop out to second to end the game.
While pointing out success up and down the lineup, Troxell had high praise for one player in particular.
“Nate Acklin played right field for us tonight,” he said. “He’s worked so hard all year and he earned the chance to play.”
The Knights travel to Iroquois Friday and Troxel expects that game to be a good barometer of his team’s progress to date.
“We are going to see the kids continue to improve,” Troxel said. “The Iroquios game should tell us something.”
Youngsville is scheduled to play at Saegertown Friday.
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Williams, ss, 3-3-1-0, Gens, p/3b, 4-4-1-1, Smelko, 1b/p, 4-2-1-2, Chase, 3b/1b, 4-2-1-2, Rohlin, 2b/lf/p, 4-5-2-4, Gray, lf/rf, 3-1-2-2, Benson, lf, 1-0-0-0, Beers, rf/p, 4-0-2-2, Acklin, rf, 1-0-0-0, Alexander, cf, 2-1-0-0, Trumbull, cf, 2-1-0-0, Swanson, c, 4-2-0-0, Team 36-21-10-14
Kemery, 3b/p, 2-1-0-0, Mercado, ss/p, 4-2-0-1, Hoover, p/3b, 3-2-1-1, DeSimone, c, 4-1-2-3, Horner, dh/1b, 2-1-1-0, Turner, pr, 0-0-0-0, Burt, cf, 3-0-1-1, Olsen, 1b/lf, 2-1-0-0, Morris, pr, 0-0-0-0, Morse, lf/1b, 3-0-0-0, Walton, 2b/p, 3-1-0-0, Team 26-9-5-6
Eisenhower 344 424 x – 21 10 4
Youngsville 101 430 x – 9
2b-Burt (Y). WP-Gens. LP-Hoover.