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 Steinwachs, Titus Rally Panthers to 5-4 Win

April 23, 2008 - Knightstown found itself in a real battle with Sectional 42 rival Northeastern last Tuesday night, but came up with the big hits in the last inning to survive with a 5-4 victory.

The Panthers trailed 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh inning and eight consecutive Knightstown hitters had been retired by Knight pitching. With one out in the final frame, Brice Biehl got things going by drawing a walk and then stealing second base.

With Biehl in scoring position, Rayburn Steinwachs slapped a single to left field, enabling Biehl to tie the game. Steinwachs went to second base on an error, and then scored the winning run when Travis Titus ripped a base hit to right-centerfield.

Knightstown trailed early and again late in this game. Uncharacteristic of this team, the Panthers got little production out of the top of the lineup. The first five hitters in the batting order combined for just 2-15 from the plate. The bottom three in the lineup scored four of the team’s runs and accounted for half of the hits.

Northeastern got to Panther starter Zack Burchett for three consecutive hits in the third inning and took a 2-0 lead. Joe Haase pitched the next 2 2/3 innings and struck out eight of the nine men he faced, walking just one batter.

While Haase was handcuffing the Knights, Knightstown tied the game up in the third frame. Biehl was hit by a pitch and advanced when Titus reached on an error after a hot shot to shortstop was mishandled.

A sacrifice bunt by Levi Blair put both runners in scoring position. Jared Kayajan then supplied the huge clutch hit with a single to left-center than scored both Biehl and Titus.

Knightstown took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Jordan Bearhope led off the inning with a towering shot over the left field fence for a home run. Bearhope then took over on the mound in the sixth inning to try to close the deal and after an error and a walk, got out of trouble in the sixth.

But the Knights had other ideas in the top of the seventh, and rallied to take the lead. A one-out triple by David Roeder was followed by two costly Panther errors and two key runs by Northeastern.

That returned the lead to the Knights at 4-3 before Biehl, Steinwachs and Titus closed the deal in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The three Knightstown pitchers struck out 13 batters in the game, but the Panthers committed five errors.


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