PLEASANTVILLE — It was not always baseball in its purest form when the Knoxville Panthers tangled with the Trojans at Pleasantville Wednesday night, but it was baseball at its unpredictable best.
The two teams were deadlocked at 5-5 going into the seventh inning and the game was on the line. The Panthers put a four-spot on the board in the top of the inning and the victory appeared secure. Hold the phone. The Trojans were not ready to concede. The Trojans put up a pair of runs to draw to within two runs at 9-7 before Panther closer, Trenten Kingery fanned the final Pleasantville hitter to gain the win in relief.
The game was a back and forth affair with the Knoxville drawing first blood in the top of the first. With one out, Luke Spaur drew the first of his three bases on balls for the game. Spaur also had a base hit and was a demon on the base paths, scoring four times. Spaur swiped second and scored when Kingery’s ground ball was misplayed.
The Trojans took a brief 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second when a Panther error allowed two runs to score. The Panthers answered in the top of the third to tie the score when Spaur walked, stole second and third and came home on an error.
Pleasantville would regain the lead when a pair of Knoxville errors gave the Trojans an unearned run and a 3-2 lead.
That lead would not last long as the Panthers struck for three runs after two were out. Knoxville pitcher, Mike Hudson, ripped a double down the right field line, stole third and scored on a wild pitch. Then Spaur and Bode Cox each worked the Pleasantville pitcher for a walk. Spaur and courtesy runner, Grant Liston, moved up on a wild pitch and they each scored when Kingery drilled a base hit to right-center.
Pleasantville would tie the score with another pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to set the table for a wild seventh inning.
Knoxville got the lead in the top of the seventh when Hudson walked and Spaur laid down a bunt single. Both moved up on a ground out and then scored when Kingery smashed a double into the gap in left-center. Dakota Ramsey followed with a single to right to score Kingery and Ramsey would score on an error. It was closing time and Kingery took the hill.
“We hit the ball hard tonight,” Panther coach Turner DeVore said. “But often it was right at people. Mike Hudson worked hard tonight. He is a competitor, but he was over 100 pitches when we went to Trenten. Not only did Trenten close it down for the win, he also had huge hits in the sixth and seventh innings to drive in four runs.”
The Panthers are now 8-10 and will take on Pella Christian at home Thursday in another Marion County battle and then get back into the South Central Conference Friday night with a JV/Varsity tussle at Davis County.
Knoxville 1 0 1 0 3 0 4 9 7 5
Pleasantville 0 2 1 0 0 2 2 7 7 4
Knoxville Battery: Mike Hudson – 6 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB 4 K, Trenten Kingery (WP) 1 IP, 1 H 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K and Bode Cox
Knoxville hitting: Hudson 1 for-3, Luke Spaur 1-for-1, Kingery 2-for-4, Dakota Ramsey 2-for-4, Evan Eck 1-for-3
Knoxville runs: Hudson 2, Spaur 4, Grant Liston 1, Kingery 1
Knoxville RBI: Kingery 4, Ramsey 1, Eck 1
2B – Hudson 1, Kingery 1