LOUISVILLE - Coming off a 12-2 victory Monday over Grayville, the North Clay bats were at it again early yesterday afternoon against South Central. The Cardinals tacked on four runs in the first inning, taking advantage of a number of walks and timely hitting.Not another North Clay run was scored from there, but with Nick McKnelly on the mound, it didn't matter. McKnelly pitched seven innings of shutout baseball, striking out six batters to guide the Cardinals to a 4-0 win over the Cougars."We're lucky that Nick threw a great game," North Clay coach John Frech said. "That's probably one of the best he's had in his four-year career."McKnelly was in complete control for the duration of the game, never facing more than five batters in one inning. By the end of the seven-inning contest, McKnelly had faced just 25 batters at the plate, four above the minimum.Even more impressive, the Cardinals' ace finished the day with no walks. South Central had three hits on the afternoon, and McKnelly hit one batter for a free bag."He pounded the zone," Frech said. "It's something that we've been working on with him, just a phenomenal game. I told him, 'We're not going to give them freebies.'"Pitching with the lead also helped Frech's starter, as the Cardinals were able to score early and often. South Central pitcher Daniel Diss started the first inning with walks to North Clay's Lawson Britton and Nate Micklautz. Adam Cox sent Britton home one batter later on a sacrifice fly to left field, and another walk to Logan Hilderbrand loaded the bases with one out."It's unusual from Diss," Cougars coach Curt Jones said. "He's so consistent."Diss rebounded by striking out Hunter Clifton, but Dylan Walker sent two runs home with a single to left field that snuck past Austin Schwarm to allow the runner to coast into second. Two batters later, McKnelly delivered at the plate, dropping a single short in center that plated Walker for the 4-0 lead. "It was just key hitting," Frech said. "That's what the game of baseball is all about. Everything has got to be on time."The three-run, two-out rally in the first provided all the offense North Clay needed and more. The Cardinals cooled off for the remainder of the game, finishing with four hits, none coming after the end of the third inning."It was real huge playing with the lead," Frech said. "We characteristically don't score until late. In a perfect world I'd like to have kept tacking on, I think we lost our focus."McKnelly didn't lose his, and the pitcher's determination propelled the Cardinals to yet another big win. Pitching equally as strong at the end of the contest, McKnelly got South Central to go 1-2-3 in each of the last three innings, appropriately ending the game by fanning the Cougars' Shawn Meyer.
Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0
Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
“They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.
Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever
I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.
Indians' bats too much for Eagles
An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.
Power surge: Homers help Shoes beat Comets 8-4
Teutopolis broke open a close game with four home runs and remained undefeated with an 8-4 win over Stew-Stras/Windsor Thursday afternoon.
Cutts carries Cumberland to 4-3 win
His first three hits were no doubters, but Blayke Cutts’ fourth hit on Thursday was a high bouncer over the glove of Olney third baseman Peyton Billington to win in a walk-off.
McNamee: Questions about EIU's Jimmy G
The typical phrase used in situations like this, I think, is: “He shows potential.” I may not have believed anything I was saying, but at least he was in line to be a four-year starter; at least, he had that.
Pirates push past Flaming Hearts 10-2
It took a bit for the bats to warm up, but Cumberland made the necessary adjustments at the plate and took down Effingham 10-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Newton walks off against Dieterich
For the second straight game, Newton earned a win via the walkoff, this time as Caleb Chesnut drove in the game-winning run with two outs to down Dieterich 5-4.
Walsh, Bulldogs fend off Newton 17-8
Makayla Walsh played the role of starter and stopper.
She relieved St. Anthony pitcher Jenna Woltman, who was struggling to locate her pitches, and stopped the bleeding during a four-run fourth inning.
Flaming Hearts handle Olney
Effingham cruised to its second dual win of the year, taking all nine matches from Olney Tuesday afternoon.
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