Who: Knoxville (9-9) vs No. 8 Winterset (13-4)
What: Class 3A - Substate 6 - Quarterfinal
When: Friday, July 17 at 7 p.m.
Historically this matchup has faired well for Knoxville, who owns a 7-2 advantage since 2009, but Winterset has won the last two meetings 14-3 and 8-0.
One key player for Knoxville
Ben Olson won’t want to see his high school career end on Friday. The senior third baseman has had a strong season for the Panthers, hitting .302 with two home runs and a team-high five doubles and 21 RBIs. He brings a lot of power to the heart of the Knoxville order and will need to produce runs for his team to potentially keep up with a high-scoring Winterset squad. Olson will also need to be sharp on the hot corner with the Huskies’ ability to put the ball in play.
Keys for Knoxville
The Panthers draw the number one seeded team in the substate and eighth-ranked team in the class. Winterset scores an average of 10.2 runs per game while only allowing around 3.5 per game. They are sharp on both sides of the ball and Knoxville will need to match that. Defense will be key for Knoxville, who has committed 56 errors on the year compared to Winterset’s 16, as they cannot afford to give any free runs to a team that can score as easily as the Huskies. Knoxville can feel good throwing their top guys in Mike Hudson (2-2, 2.77 ERA) and Carter Bailey (3-0, 0.78 ERA). Those two should be up to the challenge and besides their pitching acumen, they are also dangerous hitters that should have an impact at the plate as well.