Baseball: Knights Mercy Rule Middleton, 16-1

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

It was a night of lessons for the Knights (4-0) as they beat the Middleton Tigers (0-4) 16-1 on the road in five innings. The Knights got off to a slow start, with the game staying scoreless until the bottom of the second inning when the Tigers took the lead with their only run of the night.

Mitchell Tozian
Mitchell Tozian (’16) readies himself at bat against Middleton. Tozian scored two runs in Thursday’s 16-1 win.

Aaron Scott (’17) scored the first of eight runs for the Knights in the top of the third inning. After that, the Knights took control. Jake Granese (’18), who pitched the first three innings, set Middleton down in order in the bottom of the third before Robinson added two more runs in the top of the fourth.

Scott Rothschild (’17) took over on the mound in the bottom of the fourth, pitching a 1-2-3 inning. The Knights added six more runs in the top of the fifth before Rothschild struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.

“Any time we get a chance to get our young guys in there, we’re definitely going to take it, give them a chance to play, get their feet wet on varsity,” said head coach Kevin McCray of playing his younger players during the game. “You learn better doing it then you do watching it.”

Scott, Mitchell Tozian (’16), Mathew Chowning (’17) and Evan Watts (’18) each scored two runs on the night.

Despite the commanding win, McCray said he wasn’t satisfied with the team’s focus in the dugout, having the entire team complete shuttle runs on the infield after the game as a reminder for next Tuesday’s matchup against Jesuit.

Michael Tini
Michael Tini (’16) stands at the plate during Thursday’s district game.

“We lost our focus in the dugout, and it’s easy to do, but it’s our job to keep the focus and we’re trying to get better every time out,” McCray said.

In his six years of coaching at Robinson, McCray has never beaten Jesuit, the Knights’ biggest obstacle to a 5A-9 district title. Tuesday, the Knights will have the home field advantage in their first chance of the 2016 season to take down the Tigers.

“We’ve played them tough the last two or three years, but we haven’t gotten over that hump. It’s a tough task, they’re a really strong [team], essentially a Florida All-Star team, so it takes complete focus for seven innings to compete with them,” McCray said. “I definitely think we have what it takes, but it takes better focus than what we had tonight in the late innings.”

First pitch for Tuesday’s district matchup is set for 7 p.m. at Lou Garcia Field (6311 S. Lois Ave, 33616).