Knights eliminated from playoffs in pitching duel
By ROB HAMILTON
Northmor did nearly everything they needed to do in order to move into the regional tournament on Thursday.
In their district final against Fredericktown, held at Lancaster’s Beavers Field, the Knights got very good pitching from Zach Carroll and an excellent defensive performance in which they didn’t commit a single error. They also were able to get runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings.
Unfortunately for the Knights, they were not able to get that one big hit that would put runs on the board; which would hurt them when Fredericktown’s Nash Cunningham finally broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth.
While the Knights got two runners on base in the seventh, Fredericktown was able to get out of that jam to end Northmor’s season at 17–11.
“We just couldn’t get that big hit,” said Knight coach Buck Workman. “Zach pitched a great game and we had no errors. I can live with that — we didn’t give it to them.”
Northmor put runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings, but couldn’t plate any of their baserunners.
The second inning, in particular, was a lost opportunity to score. Two straight one-out errors by the Freddies put Charlie Burggraf and Zach Fout on first and second base; however, the Knights then grounded into a double play to end that threat.
Carroll cruised through the first five innings, only giving up four baserunners, but with two out in the sixth, he walked Mitch Sellers.
Workman than swapped Carroll for Josh Montgomery on the mound. However, after Sellers stole second, he ordered an intentional walk to put two runners on base.
The coach then moved Carroll back to the mound, but Nash Cunningham cracked a two-run single to give his team the lead.
Fout reached on an error in the seventh inning and, with two outs, James Donner walked. Fredericktown coach Tom Craze then replaced starting pitcher Derek Thompson with Matt Smith, who retired Zach Wiseman to end the game.
Northmor got singles from Wiseman and Donner in the contest. Carroll struck out five, walked one and surrendered four hits in suffering the tough-luck loss.
Workman, who had not taken a team to the district finals before in his coaching career with the Knights, was pleased with his team’s effort in the defeat.
“It’s been fun,” he said. “Each game we won was bonus time. It’s good for the underclassmen to see what it’s like, so we can make a habit of this. That’s the goal.”
The full story and pictures will be in next Wednesday’s print edition.