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20 Runs Brings Lotsa Fun.
Last Updated: 4/26/2014 11:00:00 AM

Game 1
With hardly any practice in them, the Knights traveled to Spring Valley, Wisconsin for the fourth time in four years to open up their season.  A doubleheader would be played with the first game against the Hawks and the second game against the Tony Hayshakers.  Rain and cold kept the team from being as prepared as they'd like to have been, but the pitching staff held it's own while the offense got the team off to early leads in both games.

Throwing strikes is preached by the pitching staff and it led to success in both games.  Shawn Rasmussen got the start in game one, who is the most veteran player on the Knights roster, getting the call up as an infielder seven years ago.  Shawn would allow 4 hits and 1 run in 4 innings earning the win.  His only run allowed came on a line drive home run over the 280 foot deep left field fence in which he blamed his catcher for calling for a change-up.  Though, a change-up should never be left over the middle of the plate.

Shawn would get early support when his offense would put up 8 runs in the second inning for him.  Amazingly, 9 different players would end up scoring all 9 of the team's runs in the game showing that everyone in the lineup, top to bottom, contributed in the game.  Dan Koopmeiners and Gareth Oakes would each have multiple hits in the game.  Frank M Matteson would hit the teams first extra base hit of the season and Rasmussen would help his own cause by going 1 for 2 with a walk and stealing a base giving him the lead in a much heated race for the team's SB crown.

Cory Engelhardt came in to relieve Rasmussen in the 5th inning on the mound.  Cory is a rookie player for the Knights and showed a lot of poise on the mound despite taking multiple years off from baseball.  He attacked the strike zone all game and only allowed 2 hits and 1 walk.  He showed a lot of promise in his first appearance as a Knight.

Game 2
Jeremy Koopmeiners got the start in the second game against the Tony Hayshakers.  He would go 3 innings allowing only 1 hit, 3 walks, and 1 earned run, while striking out 3.  Mini-Koop was dominant in his outing showing his deceptive delivery can baffle hitters at the plate.  If he can work on his control and cut down on walks, he will have great success in 2014 on the mound. 

Just like in game 1, the offense got going early scoring 4 runs in the first inning and 7 in the second inning.  Some of the game's highlights included Scott Schuchhardt's monster double hit to center field scoring 2 runs giving him 4 RBI in the game.  Scott is another new addition to the team who plays outfield and pitches.  He would also move from the outfield in the game to come into relief on the mound of Mini-Koop in the fourth inning. 

Other offensive highlights include Matteson's hit down the right field corner that confused both the Hayshaker's defense and the Knight's base runners.  Ryan P Meehan would follow up his 3 walk game with a 2 walk game where he also collected his first hit of the season while scoring 2 runs and collecting an RBI.  Ryan now leads the the team in OBP and shares the lead with Matteson for AVG.   He also caught game 1 and moved up to 3rd string catcher in the depth chart.  Brandon Warne also provide some power hitting a double to deep center field just hopping short of the fence.  Some said they could see laces breaking off the ball as it started coming down in the outfield.

Overall, two great baseball games and a great way to start off the season moving to 2-0.  A balanced offense where hitters showed patience and drew walks when they needed, and also came up with clutch hits to plate runs when they were needed.  Defense was better than expected given this is the first time anyone has been outside.  Most guys haven't taken a real ground ball or seen anything that resembles a pop fly.  Pitchers threw strikes and relied on their defense which kept them dominant on the mound all day.  With college players set to return in a month, there's not telling what this team can do this year if everyone stays healthy and continues to improve.


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