Young Knights top Eagles in Backyard Brawl

Eisenhower seniors Drake Gens (16) and Nick Smelko (right), along with freshman Zach Rohlin converse during a mound visit in Friday’s game against Youngsville.

Eisenhower’s young baseball team, which features a large freshman class, has grown by leaps and bounds this season.

That was evident on Friday, as the Knights earned an 8-3 win over Youngsville in the Backyard Brawl at Davis St. Field.

One of those freshman, Zach Rohlin, was 2-for-4 with four RBI, while another, Teagan Gray, scored three runs and pitched the final two innings.

“I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made,” said Eisenhower coach Joe Troxell.

The big blow came in the third inning.

Youngsville’s Alex Kemery delivers a pitch during the fifth inning of Friday’s game against Youngsville. Kemery pitched 3 1/3 solid innings for the Eagles.

Leading 1-0 on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Drake Gens in the first, the Knights struck for five runs in the third.

Another freshman, Dylan Benson, belted an RBI double with one out to get the ball rolling. That followed by RBIs from Rohlin and Nick Smelko, coupled with a pair of Youngsville miscues, which accounted for the damage.

It was all the support Gens, one of two seniors on the team along with Smelko, needed.

The Eagles weren’t going down without a fight, however.

In the fourth, DeSimone led off and reached on an error and Ian Morse reached on a fielder’s choice.

Youngsville’s Nyko Mercado catches a pop up

Dylan Burt drove in the first run with an RBI groundout, and that was followed by RBI singles from Damon Reese and Zane Olsen.

Smelko was able to escape further damage by inducing a pop out to end the inning.

Alex Kemery relieved DeSimone on the mound and pitched well in his 3 1/3 innings of work, although the Knights did tack on single runs in the fourth and sixth.

Gray walked with one out in the fourth and scored on Rohlin’s 2-out single.

That exact scenario played out again in the sixth, with the freshmen sparking the offense once again.

Gray relieved Gens in the sixth and, following a leadoff walk to Burt, settled in. He got two groundouts and a pop out to strand Burt, and caught Morse looking on strike three in the seventh to end the game.

Gens struck out four in his five innings of work, while DeSimone fanned three for the Eagles in 2 1/3 innings.

Eisenhower returns home for its season finale on Monday, hosting Union City, while Youngsville will be at Cochranton, also on Monday.

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Mercado ss 3-0-0-0, Hoover c 4-0-2-0, DeSimone p-3b 4-1-0-0, Morse 1b 4-1-0-0, Burt cf 2-0-0-1, Reese lf 2-1-1-1, Olsen 3b 2-0-0-0, Walton 2b 2-0-1-0, Kemery p 3-0-1-0, Morningstar rf 0-0-0-0, Totals 26-3-5-3


Alexander cf 4-0-0-0, Williams ss 0-1-0-0, Benson lf 3-1-1-1, Gray 3b-p 1-3-0-0, Gens p-3b 4-1-1-1, Rohlin 2b 4-1-2-4, Smelko 1b 2-0-0-1, Swanson c 2-0-0-0, Beers rf 2-0-0-0, Trumbull lf-ss 2-1-1-0, Totals 24-8-5-7

Youngsville 000 300 0 – 3 5 2

Eisenhower 105 101 0 – 8 5 4

2B – Benson (E), Gens (E); WP – Gens; LP – DeSimone


DeSimone 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 SO

Kemery 3 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO


Gens 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO


2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO