By Garrett Simmons
Sunny South News
Last week’s win for the Kate Andrews Pride high school baseball team was as dramatic as it gets.
The Coaldale outfit scored a thrilling 11-10 win over the Chinook High School Coyotes, thanks to a comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning.
It was a back-and-forth game, one which didn’t start out that great for the Pride.
“We struggled for the first five innings at the dish and defensively,” said Kate Andrews coach Dan Griffith. “After three we found ourselves in a bit of a hole and had to centre ourselves.”
That was accomplished through a dominant inning by a Kate Andrews relief pitcher.
“We came out in the top of the sixth and Michael Smesman threw a shutdown inning on 10 pitches that really ignited our boys,” said Griffith. “In the bottom of the sixth we came out and put up a number and started to roll. We really thought that we had the edge going into the top of seven up 8-5.”
But Chinook rallied, and on the strength of a three-run homerun by Mac Griffith, put up five, as the tables were turned, and Kate Andrews trailed 10-8. That set the stage for some heroics in the bottom of the inning.
“The boys kept their centre, went into the bottom of seven and got to work,” said Griffith. “We were able to string together a couple of hits and walked it off on a passed ball.”
Ethan Honess threw two innings of one-hit, one-walk ball to aid the Pride. J.T. Toker went 2/4 and scored three times, while Grady Knoblich went 2/4, scored twice and had two RBI. Gage Lyckman came up with a huge hit to the opposite field in the bottom of the seventh that put the go-ahead run on third.
“A steady and consistent attitude contributed to the win – not letting that big homerun in the top of seven get us down and overcoming that adversity was probably the most impressive part,” said Griffith of the come-from-behind win.
As for the season in general up to this point, the coach added his squad has displayed a steady improvement.
“I think we are really coming together as a team. We support each other and pick each other up when something doesn’t go as planned. We will keep working on the little things that you hear coaches repeat again and again – ‘hit our cuts,’ ‘communicate’ and ‘cover each other.’ I’m proud of the work we have done so far, and I am hoping for continued success.”