Knights open league play with victory over Bulldogs | Baseball

White, Coté lead Kamiak
By David Pan | Apr 04, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Bryce Coté runs to first base, while the Knights’ dugout watches as the ball he hit leaves the ballpark for a home run against Mount Vernon.

Kamiak senior pitcher Morgan White dominated the opposition and he and his teammates came up with key hits as the Knights opened league play with a victory.

White struck out 14 batters and also drove in a run to help Kamiak to a 4-1 win over Mount Vernon in a Wesco 4A baseball game Wednesday, March 28, at Kamiak High School.

“Morgan did what we hoped he would do,” Kamiak coach Kevin Agnew said. “He was outstanding. … It’s the best he’s thrown since I’ve been here. He was getting ahead of the hitters the whole night. He had 0-2 and 1-2 counts.”

Agnew, who is in his third season with the program and second as head coach, added that White has made an adjustment with his breaking ball and now is throwing it a little harder.

“He’s had a big improvement with his mentality,” Agnew added. “He’s really attacking it.”

An example of White’s grit was after a Mount Vernon runner reached base on an error.

“It didn’t bother him. He struck the next two guys out,” Agnew said. “That was a big growth moment.”

In 5 and 2/3 innings, White allowed only one hit and one run. He issued four walks, which contributed to his overall pitch count and forced Agnew to pull him from the game.

White outdueled a pitcher who Agnew and the rest of Wesco 4A regards as one of the top players in the league – junior Reilly Olmstead. As a sophomore, Olmstead earned first-team, all-league recognition. Kamiak only had three hits against the Mount Vernon standout, but two of them produced runs.

Junior Bryce Coté hit a two-run home run that might not have happened if he had been able to lay down a bunt. With a runner on first base, the Knights were playing the percentages by having Coté attempt to move the runner into scoring position. But Coté found himself in a 0-2 hole much to his coach’s consternation.

“I was unhappy in the third base coach’s box,” Agnew said.

The Kamiak’s coach’s frown soon turned into a smile when Coté launched the next pitch over the outfield wall for a two-run home run.

“I told him that hitting a two-run home run was the best way to respond,” Agnew joked. “We expect him to drive in runs. He did that.”

Senior Luke Doten also had an RBI on a sacrifice fly and White also drove in a run with a hit.

“It worked out just right,” Agnew said of his team’s timely hits. “It’s a big win to beat those guys. He (Olmstead) is one of the one or two best pitchers in the league. Our kids had really good at-bats. He’s aggressive. The four hits we had were in timely moments.”

Agnew also was pleased with the Kamiak defense.

“When we took over we said we were going to build the program on pitching and defense,” Agnew said. “I’m really pleased.”

Senior Grant Gilmore and Doten each pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief with Doten earning the save.

Kamiak (1-1 in the league, 2-5 overall) then came up a run short in a 4-3 loss to the Bulldogs (1-1, 5-3) Saturday, March 31 at Sherman Anderson Field in Mount Vernon.

The Knights went 1-4 in five nonconference games to start the season. Two of the losses were by one run and a third was to one of the top teams, West Valley, in the Big 9 Conference.

“We played really well for 24 out of 28 innings,” Agnew said. “We had one bad inning. … We’ve got eight new starters on our team. It’s going to take some time. We’ve not figured it out. We’re still going to have some ups and downs. I think the kids are believing in themselves and what we’re trying to do.”

Kamiak is scheduled to play Monroe at 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 4, on the road. The Knights host the Bearcats at 6 p.m., Friday, April 6 and then face non-conference opponent Bishop Blanchet at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 7,at Kamiak High School.

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