Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

April 17, 2013

McKnelly pitches Cards past Cougars

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.

North Clay improved to 11-3 on the season with the win, and Frech's squad is back in action today against visiting Fairfield.

The Cougars were able to make some solid contact on the ball, but couldn't seem to get their offense rolling and generate any sort of rhythm.

"We put the ball in play a lot," Jones said. "Some of the hard ones we hit right at them."

South Central fell to 5-7 with the loss, and will try to get back on track today when the Cougars host Ramsey.

Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at braden.layer@effinghamdailynews.com

South Central 000 000 0 0 3 2

North Clay 400 000 x 4 4 0

WP - McKnelly LP - Diss

South Central: Tharp (1B); Bray (1B); Schwarm (2B).

North Clay: Britton (1B, R); Micklautz (R); Cox (RBI); Hilderbrand (R); Walker (2 1B, R, 2 RBI); McKnelly (1B, RBI).



 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • BWhite.jpg Effingham Post 120 juniors take 4-3 comeback win

    Even with a sixth-inning rally, it looked like Effingham Post 120's juniors were in trouble down 3-2 to Vandalia Post 95 in the seventh.
    Zach Bateman led off the inning with a single, but a sacrifice bunt attempt by Eli Burhmann got Bateman thrown out at second.
    Luckily for Effingham, a pair of errors by Vandalia third baseman Aaron Huber was the jolt they needed, as they scored two runs in the seventh and Lane Koenig struck out the side in the bottom half to clinch a 4-3 win in game one of their doubleheader.

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Senior district tournament set in Robinson for Effingham, Teutopolis

    Vandalia Post 95 was named the top seed at this weekend's district Senior Legion tournament in Robinson, leading a five-team field.
    Effingham Post 120 earned the second seed, Olney Post 30 was tabbed the third seed, Teutopolis Post 924 was the fourth seed and Robinson Post 69 is the fifth and final seed.

    July 12, 2014

  • Kramer2.jpg Shelby County edges Charleston 3-2

     Cary Cole is ready for the errors to vanish.
    “I don’t think we have had one (error-free game) yet this season,” said the Shelby County coach.
    He’ll just have to be happy with the win instead as Shelby County Posts 289/611/725 needed just three runs in the first inning to hold off Charleston Post 93 in a 3-2 win at Baker Field to improve the team to 8-16 on the season.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-10DieterichLegion (1).jpg Dieterich Post 628 downs Vandalia 5-1

    Dieterich Post 628 pitcher Paul Thoele threw a four-hit gem in a 5-1 win, but Vandalia Post 95 coach Steve Dangbar took fans’ attention away from the performance with a spectacle in the fifth inning.

    July 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-9ShelbyCountyEffinghamjump.jpg Shelby County holds off Effingham 11-8

    McConnell pitched with the comfort of an early 7-0 lead that became 11-2 by the fourth inning. He threw strikes and shut down Post 120’s offense, then Shelby County held on for an 11-8 win.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • DevinSmith.jpg Comeback falls short for Post 924

    Teutopolis Post 924’s offense finally woke up in the ninth inning against St. Joseph-Ogden’s travel team and made a run, but it was too little, too late in a 5-3 loss Tuesday night.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Illinois' Groce headed to Effingham

    Illinois head basketball coach John Groce will be in Effingham on Thursday, Aug. 21 for “An Evening With John Groce”.

    July 8, 2014

  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: A's/Cubs trade an A for Chicago

    There are basically two ways to look at Friday’s blockbuster trade between the Oakland A’s and the Chicago Cubs that sent Jason Hammel and Jeff Samardzija to Oakland for Addison Russell, Billy McKinney and Dan Straily.
    Number one, from the Cubs side, they just nabbed a top-10 prospect in baseball and continued putting together a group of prospects so impressive it makes one’s heart fill with glee.
    The other is that, oh look, the hapless Cubs traded away two of their best four players from this season and now are continuing a cycle that hasn’t yielded them a World Series, insert something about “the curse”, etc.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • CGP_2220.jpg Eye on the prize; Windsor/Stew-Stras' Vonderheide returns from injury, named EDN Player of the Year

    With a renewed focus on training for his senior season, Vonderheide took the area by storm, cutting his already miniscule 0.93 ERA by more than half a run and improving every other major statistic across the board.
    The Blue Devils (28-9) made it back to the Super-Sectional round in the spring, Vonderheide finished 9-1 with a 0.44 ERA and is the 2014 Effingham Daily News All-Area Player of the Year. Pursuing goals has always been Vonderheide's style, as he was named All-State for the second year running as well.

    July 5, 2014 2 Photos

  • McNamee.jpg McNamee: Coaches wielding too much power

    Coaching is still the most popular avenue athletes take at the end of their playing careers.
    They trade in their uniforms for Dockers and clipboards, and move to the sidelines to coach up the next generation. Putting on the headset, calling the plays and giving the signs is still the most common path to a stable retirement – even better than the latest trends involving television analysis and suing a league.
    But the grace period between retiring and hiring is now far too short, especially for head coaches and especially in the NBA.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.