July 17th, 2024

Knights down to last chance at State A

By Sean Rooney on July 29, 2017.


srooney@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNRooney

It’ll be the long road if the K of C Knights are to win a State title this weekend.

The Medicine Hat American Legion baseball team fell 9-1 to the Belgrade Bandits at the Montana-Alberta championships in Three Forks, Mont. Friday, a game that was virtually the opposite of Thursday’s dominant opening-round win.

“That team was trying to put pressure on us in every way,” said Knights coach Lane Aman. “Today our defence couldn’t handle that.”

Keon Vereschagin struck out but still scored in the first inning, reaching first on a wild pitch and coming home on a fielder’s choice. But Ethan Loran had the Knights’ only hit off starting pitcher Trey Mounts, who struck out five in four innings for the win.

Dylan Koenig didn’t get out of the first innng for Medicine Hat, done in by three errors, two hit batters and three hits —all singles. Aman noted the Bandits successfully squeeze bunted multiple times in the decisive frame.

Belgrade didn’t need much more than that, scoring seven times in the frame and getting two more in the third when Easton Page tripled and scored.

“The guys were pretty down after that, but throughout we stayed on them, tried to put together some decent at-bats,” said Aman, highlighting Ashtyn Street’s 5 1/3 innings of two-hit relief.

It’s now win or go home for the Knights, who faced a similar situation a week ago at their North District tournament. But they only needed to get to the final there to advance, where as this weekend they must win the title to move on to the regionals in Oregon.

Next up is the one team they couldn’t beat at districts, the Lewistown Redbirds. Lewistown lost their opener to Billings’ Cardinals Thursday but rebounded with a 17-12 win over Gallatin Valley.

“We’ve seen them a lot of times,” said Aman, whose team needed a similar breakthrough in a must-win game last week against Vauxhall. “We got to end Vauxhall’s season, so now we get a chance to end Lewistown’s.”

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