One night after winning a tense 2-1 region match-up at Greenbrier High School, the Evans Knights were back in action Wednesday, facing the Aiken Hornets.
The Knights made plays defensively and got clutch hitting as they went on to the 7-4 win.
Evans head coach Ricky Beale was glad his team was able to play on consecutive nights.
“It was good to get back on the field and try to respond,” Beale said. “Last night was a heck of a game. It takes a lot out of you both ways.”
After scoring a total of three runs in their three previous games, the Knights (7-2) jumped on Hornets pitching for 11 hits, led by designated hitter Matt Anderson.
Getting a break from his normal starting catcher’s position, Anderson reached on a wind-blown infield single in the first inning, coming around to score the Knights’ first run. He blasted a fastball over the wall just inside the left-field foul pole in the third inning and doubled home two runs in the fourth.
“It just let me relax and see the ball better,” said Anderson of his DH role.
Garrett Wilkinson and Jeremy Clements each contributed two hits and scored a run with Clements singling home Anderson in the first.
“We were just taking some good at-bats, watching some pitches,” said Clements. “Just seeing the ball better than we have been lately.”
In a back-and-forth contest in the early innings, the Knights trailed 4-3 before a three-run rally in the fourth gave them the lead for good.
Dominick Panzella doubled home catcher Brice Harrison and two batters later Anderson doubled home two runs.
The rally made a winner of Cody Turner, who was getting his first start on the mound. He gave up four runs on five hits and struck out one.
“He did a good job for us,” said Beale.
Wesley Crow pitched two scoreless innings for the Knights, then Josh Roye came on in the seventh and recorded his second save.
The Hornets scored a run in the third, but it could have been more.
Harrison threw out a runner trying to steal second and shortstop RaeKwon Bennett made a ranging play to his left on a ball up the middle to get the second out before the Hornets’ Ben Shumpert hit a home run.
In the fifth with the bases loaded, Crow threw a wild pitch but covered the plate and tagged out Aiken’s Bryant Schmid as he attempted to score.
Crow struck out the next batter for the final out.
The Hornets stranded a leadoff double in the sixth and then two more runners in the seventh as Roye finished the game with a