The Pine Island Panthers defeated Kenyon-Wanamingo 7-3 Thursday thanks in large part to 6 Knights errors.

The Panthers pounced to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when the Knights committed 3 of those errors.  Kenyon-Wanamingo pitcher junior Trevor Steberg should have been out of the inning in 13 pitches and no runs scored.

Instead Steberg threw 23 pitches and Pine Island had a 3-0 lead.  The Panthers capitalized on three errors within the first four batters.  First batter, designated hitter Nick Grande hit a routine grounder to shortstop.

The shortstop threw the ball high to first base but the ball glanced off his glove.  Next batter Carl Schutz hit a  grounder to third base.  The ball was bobbled and thrown wide to first.  A high fly ball was also not caught in the infield.

It was a windy evening and that did make high fly balls a bit of an adventure for both teams.  Schutz of Pine Island in particular made a couple of stellar defensive plays.

In the bottom of the first Schutz threw out Tyler Craig trying to advance on tag up following a fly ball to center.  Craig singled with one out, advanced to second on a passed ball.

Schutz threw a one hop bullet to third baseman Johnny Bauer to end the inning.

Steberg appeared to be settling in the game in the second inning when all three outs were strikeouts following a single by Matt Horkey.

Pine Island starting pitcher Kaleb Johnson did not allow a single walk in the game and just one hit after the third inning.

After the bottom of the second inning started with a called third strike Bray Olson got a infield single.  Alex Vold hammered a double over the centerfielder's head.  Olson got a late start on running because he had to wait to see if the ball was going to be caught so he was held up at third base.

Junior Paul Kortsch took a 2-1 fastball back up the middle scoring Olson, placing runners at the corners with one out for Kenyon-Wanamingo.

Number 8 hitter Alec Johnson hammered the ball.  Pine Island third baseman Johnny Bauer jumped up and snared it before the inning ended in a strikeout.  It was Pine Island 3, Kenyon-Wanamingo 1 after two innings.

The Panthers went up and down in order during a 9 pitch inning for Steberg.  The Knights scratched out a run in the third inning to cut the lead to 3-2.  With one out Tyler Craig clubbed a double to left center.  He advanced to third base on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.

In the top of the fourth inning after Steberg retired his 6th straight batter a walk was achieved by Graham Majerus during a full count.  He would score on a wild pitch.

After another full count walk for Tanner Horton and full count walk to #9 hitter Ethan Dale Grande clubbed a RBI single.  Schutz had a marathon at bat ending in the fourth walk of the inning but the Panthers were not able to score any more runs.

Meanwhile Johnson set down seven of the next eight batters before an error occurred on a high fly ball in the infield that was not caught.  The Knights also had a base runner thanks to a strikeout passed ball during the stretch but did not capitalize.

Steberg left the hill after five innings of work with 96 pitches thrown, 60 for strikes.  Just two of the 5 runs scored were earned.  He had 4 strikeouts, 4 walks and 4 hits allowed.

Tyler Craig came in to pitch.  He had a 4 pitch sixth inning.  With one out in the top of the 7th inning Schutz hit a ball resulting in an error.  He stole second base, advanced to third and scored on another error.

Pine Island shortstop Cole Uhde cracked a double before catcher Riley Keuhl had an RBI single and advanced to second base when the leftfielder had the ball get by him to make it 7-2.

In the bottom of the 7th inning the Knights got a one out double off the bat of Alec Johnson.  Pinch hitter Kevin Vazquez was hit by a pitch.  Johnson advanced to third during the Vazquez at bat on a wild pitch.

Gavin Sommer hit a ground ball to third and the third baseman thought about throwing to first but instead came home resulting in an error and the Knights third run of the game.

Line totals were:

Pine Island   7 runs on 5 hits  2 errors  4 runners left, 3 in scoring position

Kenyon-Wanamingo  3 runs, 6 hits, 6 errors, 5 runners left, 4 in scoring position

Pine Island improved to 4-2, the Knights dropped to 3-3 on the season.

The Panthers play at Tri-City United in Montgomery Friday at 5:00 p.m. while Kenyon-Wanamingo prepares for their prom.

The Knights host Faribault Bethlehem Academy Monday night at 5:00 p.m. then entertain Zumbrota-Mazeppa Friday.

Pine Island is scheduled to have a doubleheader with Cannon Falls Monday night.  KDHL Radio is scheduled to broadcast the first game of that doubleheader with coverage beginning approximately 4:50 p.m.

Our Cashwise Foods and Pharmacy Delivery of the game was awarded to Schutz and Johnson of Pine Island.  Schutz for an outstanding catch in right center off the bat of Alex Vold in the fourth inning and Johnson for his pitching peformance.  He threw 109 pitches, 62 for stikes with 8 strikeouts, no walks, 1 hit batter, 6 hits allowed, two runs were earned.

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