If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By David Sharp
Knox County (12-4, 6-1) scored in each of the first four innings of a critical Lewis and Clark Conference home contest with a competitive young Harrisburg team. The Eagles rode a balanced offensive attack with a 5 2/3 inning, ten strikeout performance by Knox County ace Rylan Roberts to an 11-1 win in six innings.
The win set up an opportunity for Knox County to clinch at least a share of the conference championship with Salisbury, pending a rescheduled game the next evening with Paris.
The Eagles scored eight runs in two out situations. Harrisburg has played many solid defensive games this season. The Bulldogs were charged with six errors, leading to ten unearned runs.
“We don’t strike people out,” Harrisburg coach Chris Ackman said. “We pitch to contact. Our defense has to be good. If we give them five outs an inning we are just not going to win games. We came here hearing Knox County had a good quality team. I had not heard that in the past.”
“Knox did a great job,” Chris Ackman said. “Things just snowballed from there. If we don’t score seven runs or more, we don’t win. When you look across the state, that’s the mentality. We have got room to grow.”
“We are extremely young. Like I told Coach (David Cameron), the next two years are going to be fun when these two teams play. Both pitchers tonight are sophomores.”
Rylan Roberts pitched around a two out walk to Harrisburg pitcher Anthony Alicea in the first inning. Alicea reached base in all three plate appearances, going 2-2 at bat with a stolen base.
Isaac McCurren singled with one out in the KCHS first inning. Rylan Roberts reached base on a first inning error. The runners advanced on a wild pitch. Braxton McCurren broke the ice with an RBI ground out.
Rylan Roberts scored on an error for a 2-0 Knox County lead after the first full inning. The Eagles worked past a dropped third strike, allowing Austin Darwent to reach base with two out in the top of the second.
Branson Miller reached base on a two out error in the bottom of the second. Nick Hamlin drew a walk. Miller stole second base previously. Conner Hayes made the score 3-0 with an RBI hit.
Isaac McCurren singled and stole second base. Rylan Roberts walked. Outfielder Carter Bremer saved a possible big inning with an outstanding catch in left field. The play robbed Braxton McCurren of two and maybe three RBI’s.
Knox County led 4-0 after two complete innings. A two out hit batsman opened the door a crack in the top of the third inning. Anthony Alicea took advantage with a Harrisburg hit.
The Bulldogs had runners on first and second base when Rylan Roberts induced a ground out to Conner Hayes at second base for the final out with no runs allowed.
Knox County ran the bases aggressively. Anthony Alicea struck out the first two Knox County batters in the third inning. Blake Parrish drew a walk. Parrish stole second base and moved to third on a balk.
Branson Miller plated Blake Parrish with a two out RBI hit for a 5-0 lead after three innings. Harrisburg kept coming at the Eagles until the final pitch. Austin Darwent stroked a two out hit off Rylan Roberts. An fly ball to Conner Hayes ended the inning with no runs allowed.
Knox County touched Bulldog reliever Hunter Cole for a three run fourth inning. Isaac McCurren reached on an error and stole second base. Rylan Roberts reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Braxton McCurren earned an RBI with a ground out to first base. Robert Dooley doubled Roberts home. Braydon Miller stroked an RBI hit for an eight run Eagle lead after four complete innings.
Brayden Ott doubled with one out in the Harrisburg fifth inning. Carter Bremer drove home Ott with a ground out. Ott moved up on a wild pitch. Anthony Alicea recorded a two out hit but was stranded on second base.
Knox County threatened off Bulldog reliever Austin Starbuck in the fifth inning but could not score. Knox County led 8-1 after five full innings. Rylan Roberts struck out a batter leading off the Harrisburg sixth inning. Blake Parrish took over on the mound and fanned the next two batters in order.
Braxton McCurren led off the Knox County sixth inning with a base hit. McCurren scored on an error. Braydon Miller drew a one out walk. Blake Parrish singled. Branson Miller lofted a sac fly to short right field.
Nick Hamlin put the ball in play, reaching base on an error. Two runs scored. Knox County captured the 11-1 win in six innings.
“That is a good team,” Knox County sophomore pitcher Rylan Roberts said. “They were 5-1 in our conference. They beat some pretty good teams. They had a strong lineup.”
“I knew I had to work for it,” Rylan Roberts said. “We have been going on a Mojo. We have a seven or eight game win streak. We are just going to win the inning and put up a run. Hold them and we will be good.”
“Getting ten strikeouts and scoring 11 runs, I expect to win that game every time, every day.”
Harrisburg (6-10, 5-2) scored one run on four hits and six errors. Anthony Alicea was the first of five Bulldog pitchers and took the loss. Alicea struck out four batters with three walks on four hits. One of the five runs charged to the Harrisburg starter was earned.
Hunter Cole tossed 2/3 of an inning in relief allowing three unearned runs on two hits. Austin Starbuck pitched a third of an inning of scoreless, no hit baseball. Austin Darwent went an inning and 2/3 with one strikeout, two walks on three hits. Three unearned runs were charged to Darwent.
Joshua Cochran finished the game with no runs or hits charged to his line.
Knox County scored 11 runs on nine hits. Conner Hayes and Isaac McCurren were 2-4 with an RBI each. McCurren scored two runs as well. Braxton McCurren had a hit, a run scored and two RBI’s.
Blake Parrish finished the game on the mound striking out two batters. Knox County stranded seven runners while Harrisburg left six.
“I think tonight we played one of our most complete games that we have played all year,” Knox County coach David Cameron said. “I don’t think we committed any errors on defense.”
“It all started with Rylan (Roberts) on the mound. It seemed like he was in control all night long,” Coach Cameron said. “(Rylan Roberts) and Isaac (McCurren) worked well together tonight.”
“We hit a good pitcher really well. We made them pay for every mistake it seemed like,” Cameron said. “We ran the bases well. Every time they lobbed the ball we were taking advantage of it.”
“If they bobbled the ball we took another base. I think it was almost the complete game of the year.”