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Knights falter to hot-hitting Redhawks 8-5

July 5, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

An area rivalry game saw the Union baseball team host North Tama on Thursday, June 27, the Knights unable to overcome the bats of the Redhawks 8-5.

"North Tama has a good record so far this year, winning their half of their conference," coach Robert Driscol said. "They hit the ball well, but we've been pitching well and playing defense lately, so I felt we'd be in good shape."

The Knights indeed appeared in good shape as they held the Redhawks to a single run in the first four innings while Union saw three across home plate, including a close slide by Aex Kiler. Hunter Heitmann provided consistent pitching as the defense limited errors throughout the opening innings.

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Hunter Heitmann pitched five innings against the Redhawks, keeping the game close before being relieved down 4-3. The junior also had one hit on the evening.

"We played tight with North Tama in the beginning and it was good to see our boys respond when they scored first," Driscol said. "Overall, we hit the ball better than we have been. We had ten hits tonight, so I hope that confidence can carry over into the next games."

A rip by the Redhawks tied the score before a double batted in a third runner in the fifth innings, giving North Tama a lead they would not surrender. A four-run seventh inning for the Redhawks would be answered by Kiler and and Grant Behrens, yet not enough to tie the game.

"They had timely hits in the fifth and seventh innings tp push runners across," Driscol said. "We had runners that if we had a timely hit or two could have changed the ending. We had a lot of hits, but just not timely for scoring position."

While the rivalry went North Tama's way this season, Union would get their third win of the season on Friday in the first game of a doubleheader hosting Sumner-Fredericksburg 4-1 before falling in the second game 6-1.

"I've been telling the boys these last two weeks we've had good pitching on the mound, played good defense for the most part and we're starting to hit more consistently," Driscol said. "I know we're going to be in ball games because of those factors. To get over the hump, we have to continue to work on hitting and pushing more runs across."

The Knights will face off against host Pella Christian (9-10) to open District play on Saturday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m. The winner will play Prairie City-Monroe at West Marshall on Tuesday, July 16.

"They have a decent and play in a conference with larger schools on their schedule," Driscol said. "I haven't looked into the matchup in detail, but I'm sure they'll be athletic and well-prepared. I feel we can sneak up on people because we're better than our record shows. With our pitching and defense, hopefully we can have a good outcome there."

Before postseason, the Knights hosted Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Monday and traveled to Belle Plaine on Tuesday. Union will host a cross-divisional matchup with West Marshall on Monday, July 8 before returning home to host South Tama on Tuesday, July 9 and New Hampton on Wednesday, July 10 to wrap up the regular season. The Knights are 3-17 on the season as of publication.



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