By Ryan McCracken on July 15, 2017.
Medicine Hat News
The Medicine Hat K of C Knights had their nine-game American Legion Baseball A conference winning streak snapped on Friday night at the hands of the Lewistown Redbirds.
The Redbirds defeated the Knights 6-1 in back-to-back games to complete a doubleheader sweep and drop Medicine Hat to 17-9 with their first conference game loss since June 23 — a doubleheader split against Lewistown.
Joel Herron was the only member of the Knights who was able to gather any sort of offensive momentum through the first matchup. The Knights centre fielder went 3-for-3 with a double and his team’s lone RBI. Only Theryn Berndt and Travis Small managed to join Herron in the hit column.
While Medicine Hat’s pitching was on point, holding Lewistown to an equal five hits in the ball game,the Redbirds managed to make their hits matter —gaining an early 2-0 lead and cruising to victory on sound defence.
Easton Brooks was tagged with the loss despite holding the Redbirds to six runs — four earned — on four hits through an even four innings. Ethan Loran stepped in to close out the game, holding Lewistown off the board in a one-hit effort over two innings of work.
It was much of the same in the closer. The Redbirds jumped to another early lead on an error in the home half of the first. While the Knights immediately struck back with an RBI error off the bat of Travis Small, any jubilation gained by an equalizing run was immediately snuffed out by Lewistown.
The Redbirds struck for five in the second to blow the game wide open by capitalizing on a pair of costly Knights errors.
The bats were held in check yet again, with only three players finding the hit column. Berndt was the only member of his squad to record base knocks in both losses, while Ethan Bartram added a double and Ethan Loran joined him with a single.
Knights starting pitcher Ethan Boutkan recovered from a shaky start for a strong finish, but the bats were unable to make up any of the early difference.
Boutkan closed out the game after allowing six runs — four earned — on five hits through six complete innings.
The Knights close out their conference season with a doubleheader Saturday in Havre against the North Stars before advancing to the North District Class A Tournament, also in Havre, on July 20.
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