Knights sweep crucial doubleheader against Williamson Trade

Smiling man with dark-blue shirt collar showing

By Paul Miller

Knightly News Co-Adviser

The Central Penn College Knights baseball team was victorious in both games of a doubleheader on Tuesday against Williamson Trade from FNB Field in Harrisburg, winning the first game 7-3 and taking the second game 8-5.

Game 1

The Knights went with starting pitcher Dalton Koller in the first game of the doubleheader, and he certainly did not disappoint. Over the first three innings, Koller was dominant, at one point retiring seven consecutive batters and striking out four.

For Williamson Trade, Jacob Naumann was equally solid over the first two innings but ran into trouble in the third. Owen Zell led off with a single and, after a Jefrandy Montero sacrifice bunt and a Gabe Kaufman walk, came around to score on a Zach Boyer single. Then, Tanner McCoy continued his hot stretch during the second half of the season with a sacrifice fly.

While not still out of the inning yet, Naumann flashed some wildness, giving up a passed ball and a wild pitch, allowing two more Knights to score.

Williamson Trade was able to get on the board in the fourth, with a Joshua Illing single followed by a Joe Kelly RBI double. But Koller was able to pitch around some baserunners in the fourth and keep the game at 4-1.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Knights continued their offensive surge. With one out, the Knights were able to muster four consecutive base hits, culminating with a two-run single by Boyer and a sacrifice fly from McCoy.

With a 7-1 lead, Koller got into a jam in the fifth inning, allowing five consecutive runners to reach base. But after two runs scored, Michael Ashton attempted a squeeze play that was popped up. Catcher Cameron Smiley made an amazing play to come up with the out, then fired to first base for the game-saving double play.

From there, Koller cruised the rest of the way for the complete game, allowing only six hits while striking out seven. Koller was named the Knightly News Player of the Game for his efforts.

Offensively for the Knights, Boyer put up another fantastic game, going 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs. At the top of the order, Zell was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Game 2

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Knights continued their offensive success early on. Zell walked to start the game and quickly stole second and third base. Gabe Kaufman launched a double, scoring Zell. In the second inning, after a Kevon Davis single, David Thomas launched his first-ever collegiate home run, giving the Knights an early three-run lead.

Colten Zerby started the game for the Knights and quickly made it through his two innings, striking out four. But in the third, Zerby allowed two baserunners and then exited the game with an apparent injury. Senior Zachary Haefner entered the game and ultimately induced Dylan Marantino to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat, leaving the game tied at 3-3.

But the Knights offense was just too much for Williamson Trade through the remainder of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Davis and Nic Joseph scored on a passed ball and a wild pitch respectively. After Williamson Trade was able to tie the score in the top of the fifth, the Knights went on to score three more runs behind RBI singles from Thomas in the fifth and Kaufman and Montero in the sixth.

With the run support, Haefner was able to pitch five strong innings, allowing only two earned runs while striking out three and picking up the win.

Thomas was the Knightly News Player of the Game in Game 2, going 2-for-3 with his home run and 3 RBIs. Zell was 1-for-2 with two walks, four stolen bases and a run scored. Montero was 1-for-3 with two steals and one RBI.

With this doubleheader sweep, the Knights improved to 14-10, with four more games on the homestand this week. The Knights return to the FNB Field on Friday for Senior Day and Community Night as they take on ESAC rival Christendom. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m., but come early to send off our seniors in their final home game at FNB Field.