Knights take close 6-5 loss to Steinbrenner in season opener
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Coming off a 1-1 preseason showing, the Knights took the field Tuesday night against Steinbrenner for their season opener. After trailing by four throughout the first half of the game, the Knights cut the Warriors’ lead to one run by the top of the seventh inning. However, the Knights fell short and walked away with a 6-5 loss.
Both pitchers started off strong by retiring the side in the first inning. The Steinbrenner offense picked up speed in the top of the second with a line drive to left center by Cam Coakley (’17). Coakley followed the hit by stealing second and was eventually batted in by teammate Ryan Glass for the Warriors’ first run of the night. Steinbrenner increased their lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning with a 3-run home run by Patrick Morris (’17).
The Knights did not answer the Warrior offense until the bottom of the fourth when Aaron Scott (’17) hit a double, allowing Kris Terry (’17) to advance to third base having walked during his own at bat. Luis Estevez (’17) and Zack Moseley (’17) followed with an RBI ground out and an RBI single respectively.
The Warriors scored two more runs in the fifth, leading to a pitching change. After two outs, starting pitcher Scott Rothschild (’17) came out for Jake Granese (’18), who got the last out of the inning and went the rest of the way allowing no more runs.
“There was a lack of communication at first base with the PFP [Pitcher’s Fielding Practice],” Rothschild said about the two additional runs. “Personally, I think that I need to have a better mindset coming into the game.”
However, a series of errors by Steinbrenner set the stage for a Robinson comeback in the bottom of the fifth, when they loaded the bases with no outs. Both Mathew Chowning (’17) and Killian McCray (’17) scored off wild pitches. Scott brought in a fifth run with an RBI double, taking the score to 6-5 Steinbrenner, where it remained for the rest of the game.
“It’s the first game of the season and we’re playing against the defending 8A State Champ,” head coach Kevin McCray said. “But for the first game, to get behind four-nothing against a really good team and end the game with a tying run on second… I’m very happy with the fight of our guys.”
Despite the loss, McCray views the close final score as evidence of Robinson’s possibilities for the rest of the season.
“We do what we can control, we’re gonna have a chance to win the game.”
The Knights will face the Jefferson Dragons this Thursday, Feb. 23. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Jefferson High School (4401 W. Cypress St, 33607)