Hazleton edges Knights in ninth
By Andrew Marcus
If you pull out some grass DnG OHW LW fly, WKH GLrHFWLRn LW takes will tell you what kind of day it is going to be at the 1RrWK 3Hnn EDsHEDOO fiHOG. Wind is always going to play a factor at the Knights’ home turf and on Thursday no grass experiment was needed to tell if the ball was going to travel well.
After nine innings it turned out the ball traveled too well as Hazleton hung on for the 8-6 non-league win. The Cougars connected on 14 hits and scored two unearned runs in the ninth inning to negate the Knights’ best comeback effort.
“If we score six runs we should be able to win a lot of games,” Knights coach Kevin Manero said. “We had a little trouble with command early and a few physical mistakes late. Sometimes you need a game like this to remind you there still work to do.”
The Knights never wasted an at-bat, and though they came out on the wrong side of the contest, they forced the Cougars to play a few extra innings to earn the victory. The Knights trailed 5-1 early but never stopped swinging.
“We are getting good aggressive swings at good pitches to hit,” Manero said. “I like to see the guys swinging hard and being aggressive. We have some guys that can hit.”
Knights’ catcher Eddie Posavec put a charge into a third inning offering, which in turn put a charge into his teammates. The senior sent a ball deep over the new fence. Senior Brady West also tested out the new dimensions by lacing a line drive over WKH OHIW fiHOG wDOO WwR Lnnings later. The pair of long balls brought the Knights within a run.
“lnce we scored a couple runs on Eddie’s homer, I think the momentum switched,” West said. “I got a fastball out over the plate, I tried to put a good swing on it, and it went out. ln a day like today when the wind is blowing out, this is a hitter’s park.”
While the Knights fought back with the bats, right- hander aylan Borawski calmed down the Cougars attack. After nine hits off the Knights’ starter, Borawski came in and pitched three scoreless innings. He was in line for the win after West’s sDFrLfiFH fly SuW WKH .nLJKWs on top 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“We got a couple shutdown innings from aylan and he put us in a position to win,” West said. “We SrDFWLFH KLWWLnJ D fly EDOO with bases loaded and I was able to get the run in. Coach works on situational hitting all of the time and it really helps us.”
The Cougars forced extra innings on a single by catcher Tony Craig and the
Knights never could come up with one more clutch hit as they left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings. While a win was preferred, a chance to see situations you cannot duplicate in SrDFWLFH PDdH LW D EHnHfiFLDO ballgame. The challenging non-league schedule Manero put together should have Knights ready for the upcoming Suburban lne Continental Conference competition.
“lffensively we are putting together good at-bats,” Manero said. “We have seen some good pitching in scrimmages and in today’s game. This is the time to fiJurH RuW wKDW wH nHHd WR work on. This is going to make us better.”