All of the first 11 games for the Lindsay Knights have been blowouts, but in the first game of the Muenster Highway 82 Classic, the Knights found themselves in their closest baseball game of the season.
Lindsay trailed 4-2 at one point to Windthorst, but was able to tie the game and walk off with a 5-4 victory Thursday, March 18.
Lindsay capitalized on a Windthorst error and head coach Derrick Jenkins said it was nice to be able to prove a few of the doubters wrong with the win, despite not playing up to snuff.
“We didn’t play very well,” Jenkins said. “We made a lot of errors, but it was nice to come back and win a game when you really didn’t play as well as you should have played. Windthorst did a great job and put some pressure on us that we haven’t seen yet. That’s going to be great for us as we move forward.”
Jenkins said he and the team walked into Thursday’s game with an underdog mentality.
The Knights trailed 4-3 headed to the bottom of the seventh inning and with the bases loaded, they put a ball into play and outlegged a Windthorst throw to second base. That allowed the winning run to close home plate to win the game.
“Now you know what you can do and you know your kids aren’t going to quit,” Jenkins said. “That’s the biggest thing. You always wonder what happens when you get down after blowing out much of the games so far this season. It was awesome. We’ve heard that we haven’t played anybody and that we haven’t been tested, but we came away knowing we can play with those guys.”
Lindsay took down Saint Jo 17-2 to improve to 11-0 and the win over Windthorst moved the Knights to 12-0 on the season.
It was 4-2 headed to the third inning against Saint Jo and Lindsay exploded with nine runs in the bottom of the third inning and four runs in the fourth inning to break the game open.
As for what the Knights need to clean up as they close out the tournament, Jenkins said they need to make the routine plays more consistently.
“We’ve got to be more aggressive on the bases and we’re not taking the bases when we should,” Jenkins said.
On the mound was Colton Popp and Jenkins lauded him for his performance.
“He maybe walked one or two guys and it was 1-2-3 throughout the first three innings,” Jenkins said. “We played the first three or four inning in like an hour. It was flying through. He threw a lot of strikes and he’s been awesome all year. Tyler Yancey came in and closed out the game in a role we’ve talked about which is coming in and getting one inning. If he can give me two inning a weekend, we’ll probably win all the series we play.”
Offensively, Jenkins said the Knights have done a great job putting balls in play and hopes that can continue as they finish out the tournament against Oklahoma Saint Mary’s, Edgewood and Jones.
“If you have guys 1-9 that put balls in play, you’ve got a chance to beat anybody,” Jenkins said.