May 19—PARIS — Oxford Hills pitcher Wyatt Knightly settled into the game in the third inning.
The senior sat down Edward Little in order and the Red Eddies only reached base one time in the remaining innings in the Vikings' 4-1 KVAC baseball win Wednesday at Gouin Athletic Complex.
"I was getting a little more dialed in and my teammates were playing good defense when they needed to," Knightly said. "That's what it really came to it."
Knightly allowed one run on three hits and struck out six. He didn't walk anyone.
"He was throwing first-pitch strikes and getting ahead of his hitters; because of it, (Edward Little) had to swing early in the count," Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer said. "That kept his pitch count down."
The fourth inning was Knighly's most-dominant, striking out Drew Smith, Braden Paradie and Brady Vincent — the Red Eddies' fourth, fifth and sixth hitters.
"Oxford Hills' pitchers, they come right at you when they are ahead in the game," Edward Little coach Dave Jordan said. "They did a great job of that, of, 'Hey, come and beat us.' We tried to string two or three hits together and we weren't able to do that."
Knightly had 1-2-3 innings again in both the fifth and sixth innings.
He said he took one batter at a time when he got 12 outs in a row.
"I didn't realize (that), I was just focused on the next batter, and I never felt comfortable," Knightly said. "If you feel comfortable, that's when teams like (Edward Little) will jump on you and make a little comeback."
Edward Little's Brody Keefe started the seventh inning by reaching first on an infield throwing error.
"It was a tough play — it got away from (the shortstop) a little bit — he did field it cleanly," Slicer said. "I liked how Wyatt settled right back down after the error; it could have snowballed. The last time we played them, we had a tough couple of innings and we ended up losing the game. I was happy with his composure."
Keefe was a pinch-hitter for Smith, but Smith re-entered the game to run for Keefe. Smith was put out on a fielder's choice for the first out and the game ended on a 4-6-3 double play turned by the Vikings.
The Red Eddies hit some hard balls off Knightly in the first two innings. TJ Kramarz, Edward Little's No. 2 hitter, had a single in the first inning, and Kamden Masselli followed in the next at-bat with a single of his own down the left-field line to score Kramarz. Masselli took second base on the throw back to the infield.
Massselli reached third on a passed ball during Paradie' plate appearance, but Paradie struck out looking to end the inning.
After Oxford Hills' Kolby Brown tripled to right field in the bottom of the first, which scored Eli Soehren to tie the game at 1-1, the Red Eddies (5-7) threatened in the top of the second. Vincent singled, then stole second base. A Campbell Cassidy sacrifice bunt moved Vincent to third, but the inning ended when Pat Anthoine grounded out.
"I think we had some opportunities early on but we didn't get the run in," Jordan said. "We had some balls that were hit fairly hard but Oxford Hills is a great team. If you have opportunities to score, you have to."
Isaiah Oufiero started to do his damage in the bottom of the second when he hit a line-drive double down the left-field line and moved to third on a Knightly groundout. Brady Truman's sac fly scored Oufiero to make it a 2-1 lead for Oxford Hills (10-1).
"We need that (hit), especially being down 1-0 to start the game," Oufiero said. "It kind of changed the momentum in our favor."
Brown drove in another run in the bottom of the third when his single scored Soehren from second base. Brown stole second later in the inning and came home on another single by Oufiero.
"I knew we needed to score offensively with guys in scoring position; we couldn't leave them there," Oufiero said.
Vincent, Edward Little's starter, settled down after the third, getting a 1-2-3 inning of his own via a double play to end the inning. He got out of a jam in the fifth inning when the Vikings left two men on base.
Masselli relieved Vincent in the sixth and got Knightly to hit into a double play and got Truman to groundout.
Vincent went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits, and striking out one. He walked three batters.