Knights have mixed week

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By Josh Veatch

By Josh Veatch
The Marion County Knights baseball team had a tough first week of action, playing five road games. The Knights dropped the first three games to Washington County, Danville, and Eastern High School before picking up two wins on Saturday against Waggener and Scott County in the Eastern Invitational, leaving their record at 2-3 for the season so far.
“We had very few bright spots through the first three games because of defensive mistakes physically and mentally,” Head Coach Chad Spalding said. “Baseball is about winning battles within the games. We were winning 5-2 going into the bottom of the third inning in the Danville game when the wheels came off.”
The Knights picked up their first two wins in back-to-back games against Waggener and Scott County.
“Saturday was so extreme,” Spalding said. “First of all, we get off the bus at 10 a.m. and it’s 39 degrees with a wind chill below freezing. In the first inning of the Waggener game we gave up five runs and committed five errors. We scored eight runs in the top of the seventh, and were able to hold them off. I was very pleased with the players toughness and the ability to find a way to win that game.”
Spalding said the momentum seemed to carry over to the next game in which Devin and Paul Spalding came up big for the Knights in the victory.

Marion County 2, Washington County 9
Despite scoring the first run of the game in the top of the second inning, the Knights would not be able to do much more damage as the Commanders came away with the victory 9-2. Washington County would tally four runs in the bottom half of the second inning before adding two more in the third and three in the sixth inning. The Knights only managed one other run that came in the fourth inning.  
Joey Costello led the way for the Knights with two hits while Paul Spalding and Dylan Spalding added one hit each. Eric Farmer was tagged with the loss on the mound. In Farmer’s two innings of work he faced 12 batters, giving up six hits and four runs while walking only one batter.

                           1  2   3   4   5   6   7 - F      R   H   E    
Marion Co.  (0-1):       0   1   0   1   0   0   0 - 2      2   4  4
Washington Co. (1-0):    0   4   2   0   0   3   X - 9     9  10   1  

Marion County 5,  Danville 15
Marion County would strike first in this game, but could not hold on to their early lead.  The Knights five runs came in the first and second inning as they held a 5-2 lead.  Devin Spalding paced the way for the Knights with two hits while Eric Farmer, Paul Spalding, Blake Montgomery, and Aaron Hamilton added one hit each.  However, in the bottom of the third inning, the Admirals would put up ten runs as they put the game out of reach.  Danville would score again in the fourth and fifth innings to give them the 15-5 victory in the run-rule shortened game.  Starting pitcher, junior Dylan Spalding worked his way into that disastrous third inning before giving way to the bullpen.  In the loss, Spalding faced 18 batters while giving up nine runs on eight hits while walking three and fanning one.
                      1   2   3   4   5 - F    R   H   E
Marion County (0-2): 1   4   0   0   0 - 5    5   6   8
Danville (1-1):     2   0  10   2   1 - 15  15  10  1

Marion County 2, Eastern 12
Marion County held the No. 6 ranked team in the state in the pre-season polls in check for the first four innings, allowing them to score only two runs. In their first game of the Eastern Invitational, the Knights only managed three hits while giving up 11. With the score tied at two heading into the bottom of the fifth, the Eagles would put a 10 on the scoreboard to put an end to the game.  Devin Spalding, Blake Montgomery, and Joey Costello all had one hit for the Knights. The 12-2 final score was the Knights second straight run-ruled game.  Sophomore Michael Costello was given the loss despite pitching only 0.2 innings.  Costello gave up seven hits and ten runs while walking two and striking out one.

                      1   2   3   4   5 -  F    R   H   E
Marion County (0-3): 0   0   0   1   1 -  2    2   3   4
Eastern (4-0):         1   1   0   0   10 - 12 12  11  2

Marion County 8, Waggener 7
The Knights were held scoreless for the first six innings of the game, while Waggener had scored five runs in the first inning. The Wildcats would add another run in the bottom of the sixth inning giving them a 6-0 lead as the Knights headed into their final at bat. However, Marion County would put up an impressive eight runs in the top of the seventh to hold an 8-6 lead. Waggener was held to only one run in the final half inning giving the Knights their first win of the season. Devin and Dylan Spalding lead the way for Marion County with two hits each while Eric Farmer, Blake Montgomery, Michael Costello, and Bryan Gootee chipped in one hit a piece. Joey Costello picked up the win on the hill.  Costello pitched to ten batters and allowed only three hits and one run in relief of starting pitcher Dylan Spalding.

                      1   2   3   4   5   6   7 - F    R   H   E
Marion County (1-3): 0   0   0   0   0   0   8 - 8    8   8   6
Waggener (2-2):      5   0   0   0   0   1   1 - 7    7   6   3

Marion County 12, Scott County 2
Riding the win over Waggener, the Knights headed into their second game of the day in the Eastern Invitational. Marion County would score early and often as the mercy rule came into effect after five innings. Devin Spalding, Paul Spalding, Blake Montgomery, and Michael Costello would all have two hits each while Clay Thomas and Joey Costello would add one hit a piece. A seven run fourth inning by the Knights would put the game out of reach and all but seal up the second win on the season. Starting pitcher Eric Farmer picked up the win allowing four hits and two runs to 17 batters while issuing two free passes and fanning one.
                   1   2   3   4   5 -  F    R  H   E
Scott County (1-3):  0   0   1   1   0 -  2     2  5   5
Marion County (2-3): 2   0   1   7   2 - 12    12 10  2