Knights battle in setback to Region 3 leader Cochranton

Eisenhower’s young baseball team continues to make progress.

And, despite a 18-5 setback to Region 3 leader Cochranton, Wednesday was more proof of that.

The Cardinals struck for seven runs in the first inning, which easily could have buried the Knights. They didn’t let that happen, however.

“The team is really improving and it’s the freshmen that are making that happen,” said Eisenhower coach Joe Troxell.

They got one back in the bottom half of the innings, with Teagan Gray singling in Zach Rohlin, and got two more in the second.

One of those freshman, Dillon Benson, doubled with two outs in the second and advanced to third on Drew Williams’ single. Back-to-back hits by Rohlin and Nick Smelko brought the Knights to within 7-3.

“Dillon’s double set up the next three batters – singles by Williams, Rohlin and Smelko,” noted Troxell. “We started that rally with two outs and a freshman at bat.”

After the 7-run first, the Cardinals were held scoreless until the fifth, when they picked up three runs.

Again, Eisenhower, responded with a pair of its own in the bottom half.

Gray brought in Smelko with an RBI single and Drake Gens stole home on a double steal, making the score 10-5.

Cochranton got three runs in the sixth and five more in the seventh to close the game.

“We threw five pitchers today and four of them were freshmen,” Troxell said. “We’re trying to get these kids experience at the varsity level and they did a respectable job.”

Rohlin, Smelko, Gens and Gray all finished with two hits for the Knights.

Alex McKay went 3-for-4 with a double and a pair or RBI for Cochranton, while Brandon Richter had three RBI and Tanner Fox two.

The Knights return to action with a non-region game at District 9 foe Otto-Eldred on Friday.

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Cochranton 700 033 5 – 18

Eisenhower 120 020 0 – 5

2B – Benson (E), McKay (C); WP – Barzak; LP – Williams

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