The Knights got solid pitching from a foursome of hurlers, some timely hitting and they took advantage of some Claymont miscues to carve out an 11-3 victory Saturday, April 8 at West Holmes High School.
The Knights got out to an early lead, something they have not done in recent losses, and senior Drew Campbell said that was a key in helping the team relax.
“In our previous games, we hadn’t really gotten out to that advantage, so that really helped motivate us, got us into the flow of the game and helped us relax a little bit,” Campbell said. “We were getting a little stressed out with the close losses, but we came out and played a pretty nice all-around game. We definitely hit a lot better than we have been hitting.”
The Knights got the upper hand in the first inning, taking a 3-0 lead in their first at bat. After starting pitcher Jake Donaldson cruised through the first, Knights lead-off hitter Slade Barnes beat out an infield single. Trenton Yoder walked and Drew Campbell drive a single through the middle for a 1-0 lead. Donaldson helped his own cause by singling in Yoder and Brendan Bridenthal brought in the third run on a sacrifice fly to center.
Erik Hanna singled to start the second inning and was bunted to second by Bridger Cline. That paid off when Barnes’ single moved Hanna to third and Yoder’s sacrifice fly would bring home the fourth Knights run.
The Knights were doing all of the little things that have been missing in recent games, and their head coach was pleased when he saw those fundamental things come together to produce runs.
“We haven’t been very good at doing the little things lately, and we had practice last night and I about lost my voice talking about all of those little things,” Pim said. “Just things like moving runners and fielding bunts and so many little things that make the difference between wining and losing. It was nice to see that pay off.”
Meanwhile, Donaldson was cruising, but Pim went to the bullpen and called on Bridenthal, who also looked good while throwing just 30 pitches.
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West Holmes tacked on three more in the third. Shane Jones walked, took second when he got picked off but beat the throw to second base, and scored on a Hanna single. A wild pitch later, Cline would single sharply to center to plate Hanna, and Barnes would eventually collect his third single to make it 7-0.
Claymont would finally get to West Holmes in the sixth, plating three runs off of Collin Reynolds, but West Holmes would answer with four of its own in the bottom of the inning.
Yoder led off by thrashing a double, and he would scamper home on Campbell’s RBI single. Donaldson singled and Bridenthal drew a walk to load the bases, and Jones then got drilled, forcing in a run. Reynolds and Hanna then both walked to force in runs, and West Holmes had regained control.
Kiowa Looney would close out the game, giving West Holmes a much-needed victory after the team had suffered some devastatingly close losses.
“It’s all about learning how to win, and I keep telling the kids that if we keep working hard and plugging away, it will come together,” Pim said.
Pim said that he hopes the solid kind of fundamental baseball the Knights exhibited in the win will carry over and help take them to the next level.
“It’s nice to just get back on track in the win column,” Pim said.