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Rasmussen Goes the Distance
Last Updated: 7/10/2014 7:00:00 PM

It wasn't looking good for the Knights late in their final regular season matchup against White Bear Township.  Township's crafty lefty had completed 5 innings of no-hit baseball before walking Knights leadoff hitter Kirk McBreen to start the top of the 6th.  In a move that shocked both the crowd and the Knights' bench, the Township manager took the ball from his starting pitcher with the no-hitter still intact and brought in the power right-hander with Township clinging to a 2-0 lead.  And so began the late inning rally the Knights were hoping for.

The Knights quickly loaded the bases and plated their first run of the game on a sac fly. The Knights reloaded the bases with 2 outs, trailing by 1 run. Outfielder Toby Kaplan took his lead off of third, carefully timing the delivery of the Township pitcher, and with great baseball instinct executed a straight steal of home to tie the game at 2-2. The game moved into extra innings with that same score.

The Knights finally took the lead in the top of the 8th following back-to-back hits by Toby Kaplan and Frank Matteson and a sac fly by outfielder Trent Rabel.  But the game was not yet over. Heading back out to the mound for his 8th inning of work, and with his pitch count closing in on 100, Shawn Rasmussen conjured up his best impression of Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series. Township led off the bottom of the 8th with a line drive to center that was lost in the lights and went sailing past the defense for a leadoff triple. The tying run was at third base with no outs and the 2-3-4 hitters due up for Township. But Rasmussen would not be phased. Maintaining his composure, Rasmussen kept attacking the strike zone, as he had done all game.  The next Township batter hit a soft liner to second with the infield playing in and there were now just 2 outs to go.  Rasmussen would bear down against the heart of the Township order and pound the zone with quality pitches.  After getting ahead of the next hitter 0-2, a brief battle ensued, as pitch after pitch was fouled off before Rasmussen reached back for a little extra and got a huge strikeout for the second out.  The next batter swung early in the count and hit a soft ground ball to shortstop Kirk McBreen to end the threat and seal the victory for Shawn Rasmussen and the Knights.


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