CHARLOTTESVILLE — The Knightstown High School varsity baseball team traveled the short distance over the county line Saturday to play a doubleheader at rival Eastern Hancock and swept the twin bill from the Royals 6-4 and 10-2.
It was #JackieRobinsonDay Saturday, and both teams wore team colors dawning the number 42 with Robinson on the nameplate to commemorate the icon and trailblazer Jackie Robinson.
Seventy-four years ago, barriers were broken as Robinson became the first African American to play Major League Baseball.
In addition, each team wore the name “Clowns” representing The Indianapolis Clowns who brought together baseball and showmanship. The Clowns excelled as ballplayers and comedic geniuses.
In the first game, the Panthers opened up an early lead in the second inning when Gunnar Hannis singled on a 1-2 count, scoring Robert Porter.
In the top of the third inning, Knightstown tied the score at 4-4 with Dalton Scott’s sacrifice fly scoring Brayden McDaniel.
The Panthers took the lead for good with one run in the fourth inning when Bryce Gorman stole home when the Royals attempted to throw out Hannis stealing second base.
Knightstown’s Carson Smith pitched his team to victory. The bulldog went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits and striking out four. Bryce Gorman threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen and recorded the last six outs to earn the save.
Cameron Wise took the loss for Eastern Hancock. Wise went five innings, allowing five runs on five hits, striking out one and walking one.
The Panthers totaled six hits in the game. Robbie Flodder and Gorman each racked up two hits to lead Knightstown.
In the first inning of the second game, the Panthers got their offense started when Brayden McDaniel singled, scoring Gunnar Hannis.
Knightstown notched four runs in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Ben Newby tripled scoring Charlie Hastings, Brock Loveall and Aaron Reagan. A Mason Muncy groundout plated Newby.
Newby led the Panthers to victory on the hill. The pitcher went five innings, allowing one run on three hits, striking out six and walking one.
Bryce Gorman and Muncy entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the contest in relief.
Chris Craney took the loss for Eastern Hancock. The lefthander lasted four innings, allowing five hits and nine runs while striking out three.
Knightstown had seven hits in the game. Charlie Hastings and Loveall racked up two hits apiece to lead the Panthers.
After the games, the Knightstown coaches and players wanted to honor Eastern Hancock senior No. 17 Justin “Peanut” Locker. He may be gone but never forgotten by our families and community. When the sun shined on Saturday, we knew he was watching. Our communities’ thoughts and prayers continue to be with the entire Locker family.