OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa didn't get off to a good start against Knoxville Tuesday night.
The Panthers scored four runs in the first inning and added two more in the second for a six-run lead heading into the bottom of the second.
The Indians (11-4) countered with a run in the bottom of the second then exploded for five runs in the third and thee more in the fourth to take a 9-8 victory.
Ben Olson keyed the opening inning for Knoxville (4-19) with a two-run double that scored Colton Jones and Mike Hudson. R.J. Roberts was then hit by a pitch and both Olson and Roberts came home on a pair of wild pitches.
Kaleb Streigle had a two-run single in the second and Knoxville appeared ready to cruise to the win with Oskaloosa starter Jarrett Czerwinski being pulled after walking Roberts.
"it was Jarrett's first actual start on the mound and his nerves got to him," Oskaloosa coach Bill Almond said. "He got the ball up and also threw some balls 50 feet in the dirt."
But Oskaloosa countered with a run in the bottom of the second as Cole Kraber walked. He stole second and later scored on an errant throw by the Knoxville first baseman.
The Indians trailed by five runs going into the third, but quickly tied the game as the first six batters all reached base and five of them scored.
Wyatt Krier started the inning with a double and Rian Yates blooped a single to center. Tyler Miller, who had four hits on the night, followed with a run-scoring single to bring Kraber home and moved Yates to third. After Miller stole second, Colton Butler doubled home Yates and Miller to get the Indians to within 6-3. Noah Van Veldhuizen doubled home Butler and that finished the night for Knoxville starter Blaise Hubler. Krabe greeted reliever Kobie Marshall with a single and Van Veldhuizen later scored the fifth run of the inning on a ground out by Charlie North.
Oskaloosa went ahead the very next inning as Krier singled over the third baseman's glove and went to second on a sacrifice by Yates. Miller then bunted his way on with a single as Krier went to third. Miller stole second and Butler loaded the bases after he was hit by a pitch. Van Veldhuizen gave the Indians the lead at 8-6 with a two-run double and Kraber finished off the inning with an RBI single.
"Our approaches got better as the game went on and the bats got better," Almond said.
The beneficiary of the Oskaloosa offensive effort was sophomore Kale Bollinger, who was making his first varsity appearance.
Bollinger was able to keep oskaloosa in the game as he gave up just one hit and held Knoxville scoreless until the fifth.
Bollinger made his only mistake in the Knoxville fifth as Roberts walked and Carter Bailey homered to make it 9-8.
Bollinger lasted until there were two outs in the sixth after walking Olson when Butler came in to finish the job.
"Kale did an excellent job in his first time being on the mound in a varsity uniform," Almond said. "He really did a nice job, kept the ball low and kept the ball down. He made one mistake, got the ball up and the kid hit it one the fence. I'm very, very pleased with what Kale did."
Butler got Streigle to line out to Krater at second, who threw to Yates to double off Olson to end the threat.
Butler struck out the first two Knoxville batters in the seventh then walked the next two batters before getting Logan Clark to strike out to end the game.
Miller had a double among his four hits as she score twice and drove in a run. Krier had a single, double and score two runs while Yates had a pair of singles and scored a run. Van Veldhuizen drove in three runs with a single and a double and scored a run as Krater singled twice, scored a run and drove in another. Butler had a double, one of 13 hits the Indians collected in the game, knocked in a pair of runs and score two more.
Czerwinski pitched the first 1 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, one walk and three strikeouts while Bollinger was awarded the victory, his first as a varsity hurler. He allowed just the one hit, walked five and fanned three while Butler wen the final 1 2/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts.