After the West Holmes Knights (8-1/5-1 in OCC play) received the drubbing of their season at the hands of the Wooster Generals (6-4/3-3) in a 15-3 slaughtering, on their home turf no less, Knights’ head coach Bill Pim was curious to see exactly how his team would respond to its first loss of the season.
He didn’t have to wait long to find out as the Knights traveled to Wooster to face the Generals the very next day in the second of a home-and-away series April 9-10.
He had to have loved what he saw.
The Knights shored up their defense and got some great pitching and timely hitting, producing a six-run third inning that led to a 7-2 victory.
For any coach, seeing his team turn right around, put an ugly loss behind them and play winning baseball is a thing of beauty, and Pim was quite thrilled with the effort his team put forth and their willingness to learn.
“Everything went wrong for us the night before, and pretty much everything went right for us in the second game,” Pim said. “Welcome to baseball. But I told the kids if you watch really successful teams, they all talk about the trials and tribulations they had to go through to get there. There were struggles, highs and lows, and it wasn’t easy. Almost always you hear about teams dealing with adversity, overcoming things like we went through in that first loss and learning from those types of situations. I thought we did a good job of handling that loss, and the kids came to play and turned things around quickly. Sometimes things like that can make you stronger as a team.”
The biggest turnaround for West Holmes came on the mound, where the night before they had issued a whopping 11 walks. On this night Nate Ginsburg was extremely sharp, in control and dominated in his complete-game effort. Ginsburg allowed five hits, striking out four while walking just two, a complete contrast to the night before.
“Nate simply knows how to pitch, and we played pretty good defense behind him,” Pim said. “We were just nails in the outfield defensively. All of our outfielders made some nice plays, so it was a solid team effort, but Nate was very consistent with keeping the ball in the strike zone.”
In that key six-run uprising, senior Shane Jones was once again at the heart of it all. Jones led off with a double and came around to score on Luke Vess’ single. Kendrick Wagler followed with a base hit, chasing Wooster starter Evan Hootman. However, Wooster committed a pair of costly errors. Nick Morris smacked an RBI single, and Jones came up again and delivered the dagger, a two-run single to center.
That would be all Ginsburg would need on this night. Ginsberg’s emergence has created a strong presence at the front of Pim’s starting staff. Coupled with Wagler, he gives the Knights a pair of stars at the top of the pitching list.
“I wasn’t really sure what Nate would bring to the table, but he has thrown really well,” Pim said. “We’ve got some other kids who have really thrown well. [Freshman] Noah Clark has looked good, Zander Proper has pitched well and we have a freshman coming up in Chase Booth who is pretty good too. It’s given us some options.”
With both their junior varsity and freshman team undefeated at 9-0 and 5-0, respectively, the future looks bright for the Knights.