Late rallies lift Knights to back-to-back victories | Baseball

Kamiak splits two series with Vikings and Bulldogs
By David Pan | Apr 16, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Nicholas Stahler winds up to deliver a pitch against the Vikings.

Clutch hitting and solid pitching helped Kamiak record back-to-back league victories for the first time since 2015.

The Knights went into extra innings to edge Lake Stevens 6-4 and then defeated Mount Vernon 3-2 in Wesco 4A baseball action last week.

“It was a good confidence builder,” Kamiak coach Kevin Agnew said of the pair of close wins.

In the first of a two-game series with the Bulldogs, junior Andrew Moore hit a walk-off double to score Syrus Vannatta for the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning Wednesday, April 10, at Kamiak High School.

The Knights (3-5 in the league, 4-10 overall) trailed 2-0 when Vannatta led off the inning with a hit. Senior Bryce Coté followed with another hit and Mount Vernon walked the next batter to load the bases with no outs. A fielder’s choice resulted in a Kamiak run and out before Moore stepped to the plate.

“He pinch hit in a big spot, stepped up and came through,” Agnew said.

Junior starter Max Gilmore allowed one run in four innings and was followed by sophomore Alec Harshaw, freshman Sanha Oh and sophomore Chris Pedersen.

“Our pitchers did well,” Agnew said. “We had two or three innings where Mount Vernon has runners in scoring position with less than two outs.”

The Knights trailed Lake Stevens 3-2 in the top of the seventh before scoring two runs to take a 4-3 lead. The Vikings rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning to send the game into extra innings.

Sophomore Nick Laman drove in a run in the top of the 10th inning and Kamiak also scored a run on a throwing error. Laman was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.

Senior Nick Stahler allowed three runs in five innings of work and was followed by junior Ethan Norris, who earned the victory. Junior A.J. Riley was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run.

A week earlier, Kamiak split its season series with Jackson. The Knights lost 4-2 but then rebounded for a 13-3 victory on Wednesday, April 3. The Knights battered four Wolfpack pitchers for 14 hits, while Gilmore pitched a complete game.

“The balls were falling in holes left and right,” Agnew said. “We’ve beaten three really good teams. … Our guys are playing really good right now. I think the key has been our theme this season – don’t focus on our opponents or umpires or weather. Just focus on day to day coming out and having respect for the game, having respect for our opponents, competing and just focus on trying to get a little bit better.”

Agnew added that everyone is aware that if a couple of pitches go the other way, the Knights might have lost instead of won the two games against Lake Stevens and Mount Vernon.

The pitchers, who shut down the Bulldogs, struggled in a 15-5 loss to the Vikings on Saturday, April. 6.

“They’ve had their ups and downs,” Agnew said. “Our pitchers continue to really battle. They did a nice job of bouncing back. They’re continuing to progress and get better.”

Kamiak continues to work on improving its defense. The outfield is extremely young with two sophomores and a freshman.

“We’ve struggled defensively more than I like,” Agnew said. “We’ve struggled with focus and consistency.”

But in the recent victories the Knights have avoided errors at critical times that might have cost them the game.

“They’re making plays when they need to make plays,” Agnew said.

 

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