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BASEBALL: Knights have up and down week

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By Gerard Flanagan

The Marion County Knights had an up and down week, losing the series to district Taylor County 2-1.

The Knights stumbled out of the gate, falling 13-2 to Taylor County in the series opener. On their home field, Marion County completely flipped the script and looked like a completely different team, executing to near perfection in a 12-0 win over the Cards on April 16.

“I think that during the second game a lot of things went our way that hadn’t in the first game,” senior Noah Abell said. “Our hard-hit balls started to drop and they made a few errors throughout the game, but the biggest part of the game that helped us win was keeping the game clean for the most part and just putting the ball in play.”

In the series finale, Marion County fell 7-3.

Outfielder Mike Mattingly, who has a hit in four straight games, said a few mistakes hurt the Knights last week.

“This week, our team played hard and put the ball in play very well,” he said. “We just had a few mistakes that the other team took advantage of.”

After a 3-1 start to the season, Marion County went into a three-game series with Adair County beginning on Monday with a 9-11 record. The Knights haven’t been above .500 since March 26. The Knights are 2-4 in the district, while Adair County is 1-5.

“I would say that this season has gone fairly well,” Abell said. “Sure, it could be better, but we played well with several good teams. We just need to start playing more level-headed and not get too high after a good win or too low after a bad loss as Coach [Patrick] Campbell and Coach [Marc] Brock have said several times this year already.”

Travis Wiser has continued to lead Marion County on offense, leading the team in batting average (.466), RBIs (20) and hits (27). He’s also hit all three of Marion County’s home runs this season.

“If we keep swinging the bat well like we have been, we’ll do well throughout the remainder of the season and heading into the postseason,” Wiser said.

Marion County’s team batting averages is .263, with five players—Wiser, Davis Rafferty, Ryan Hayes, Parker Barnett and Moises Davenport. Rafferty is second on the team in batting average at .315. He has 16 RBIs this season. Hayes’ .299 batting average is third best on the team. Barnett’s .297 average is fourth, and Davenport’s .273 averaged is fifth.

The Knights have also been effective at drawing walks, getting nearly five per game. Rafferty has a team-high 20 walks on the season.

Wiser has also seen action on the mound, striking out 21 batters.

Hayes, meanwhile, has led a Knights’ pitching staff that has an ERA of 3.46 Hayes was undefeated on the mound at 4-0 before taking a loss to Taylor County last Wednesday, April 17.

After concluding district action, Marion County heads into the late season stretch, as the 20th District Tournament, which will be held on Dave Hourigan Field this season, quickly approaches in less than a month.

The Knights are set to face a pair tough teams from the 12th Region. First, Marion County faces the Danville Admirals at 5:30 p.m., Friday, at Dave Hourigan Field. The Admirals have rocketed to a 19-2 record, which is best in their region. Danville had strung together a 15-game winning streak that was snapped in a 5-3 loss to district opponent Boyle County on April 16.

Marion County also faces Boyle County, another 12th Region team, at 5:30 p.m., May 1. Boyle County has advanced to the state tournament for the past two seasons.

The Knights also travel to Nelson County at 5:30 p.m., April 29, to face the Cardinals.

Knights lose lead in loss to Taylor

The Marion County Knights saw a 3-0 lead disappear as the Taylor County Cardinals took a 7-3 victory on April 17 in Campbellsville. The win gave the series to the Cardinals, 2-1.

The Knights recorded nine hits but left runners stranded in scoring position in every inning except the second. Marion County also left the bases loaded in the fourth and seventh innings. Mike Mattingly went 2-4, and Dawson McCarty was 2-3.

Ryan Lee Hayes went four innings on the mound, allowing six earned runs on nine hits. Hayes took his first loss on the season after starting 4-0.

Marion County roll past Taylor to even series

A night after Taylor County won in blowout fashion, the Knights returned the favor with solid hitting and stellar pitching in a 12-0 win in five innings on April 16.

The Knights scored seven runs in the first and went through the entire batting order, sending 12 batters to the plate in the inning

Taylor County loaded the bases in the top of the first with one out, but Davis Rafferty (five innings, four hits, no runs allowed, four strikeouts) forced a flyout and groundout to end the threat. The Cards never advanced a runner to second base for the remainder of the game.

“We put it all together last night and hit the ball very well,” Head Coach Patrick Campbell said. “Davis threw a great game. We have had trouble with consistency in our game play this year. Getting to the level where we play well every night is the big challenge for us right now.”

Five Knights—Barnett, Wiser, Rafferty, Hayes and Dalton Sallee—all had two hits in the game. Rafferty batted home three runs. Barnett, Davenport and Sallee each had two RBIs.

Cards open series with 12-3 win

Leading 3-2, Taylor County opened the game wide open in one explosive inning.

A nine-run third inning gave the Cardinals a 13-2 five-inning victory on April 15 in Campbellsville.

Taylor County had 13 hits to Marion County’s seven. Wiser went 2-2 at the plate and drove in the Knights’ two runs in the loss. Hayes was 2-3. Mattingly, Rafferty and Sallee each had one hit.

McCarty allowed nine hits and 11 runs—only one of them earned—in the loss.