The knock came Tuesday and the Oskaloosa baseball team answered with a 14-4 nonconference victory over English Valleys.
Oskaloosa trailed 4-0 after two innings when the first knock came. Jacob Hance walked to open the bottom of the second, stole second, went to third on a pass ball and scored on a wild pitch. Oskaloosa batted around in the third inning scoring seven runs on two hits and two errors. Three walks and a hit batsman aided the scoring thrust.
After going down in order in the fourth, Oskaloosa ended the game early with a five-run outburst in the fifth collecting three hits and taking advantage of an error.
“That’s exactly what you saw tonight, us taking advantage,” said Oskaloosa coach Brandon Schmidt. “The kids came out a little shaky at the beginning, but we put pressure on them.
“We made the plays and got guys on base.”
Junior Nick Rutledge limited English Valleys to three hits while striking out seven. He walked four and hit one batter.
“Nick was a little shaky in the beginning, but he settled down and threw a nice game,” said Schmidt. “He finally found the zone after the first couple innings.”
In the third inning, among the walks and errors, Clay Tucker drilled a single into left field to drive in two runs. Tucker added an RBI single in the fifth and Jesse VanDalen hit an RBI triple to power the final outburst.
Oskaloosa (1-0) collected seven hits on the night. Tucker drove in three runs on his two singles; Austin Redlich drove in two runs on a single and a walk. T.J. Boyle and Travis Gile each had a single with an RBI. Van Dalen added a single to go with his triple.
English Valleys (1-1, 1-0) was led at the plate by Wes Warwick with a single and double. Brennon Grimm had a single.
Syd George took the loss for English Valleys going 2 1/3 innings giving up seven runs on three hits, five strikeouts, four walks and two hit batsmen. Grimm closed out the night allowing six runs on four hits, four walks and two strikeouts.
“It was a good first game for us, “ said Schmidt. “I never like to fall behind, but they lost quite a few players from last year’s state tournament team. We felt we could put a lot of pressure on them and were able to do that.”
Oskaloosa will host 2012 Class 1A champion Martinsdale-St. Mary’s on Thursday. The junior varsity game will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsity.
Oskaloosa 14, English Valleys 4
EV 220 000 0 — 4 4
O 117 050 x — 14 7
Oskaloosa battery — Nick Rutledge (W, 1-0, 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 7 SO, 4 BB) and T.J. Boyle.