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Wayne Nelson / Forum News Service, Published April 22 2014

Central takes a pair of baseball games from Eagles

GRAND FORKS – Grand Forks Central baseball coach Kyle Beckstead said the Knights don’t have a power pitcher this season. But the Knights have something just as effective.

The Knights have pitchers that can throw strikes and work out of jams.

Three Central pitchers managed to stay away from the big inning Tuesday night at Kraft Field, where the Knights downed Fargo Davies 4-3 in the first game of an Eastern Dakota Conference doubleheader.

The Knights, behind a strong pitching performance by freshman Brock Reller (six innings, two hits, no runs, six strikeouts), pulled off the sweep of Davies with an 8-2 win in the nightcap.

“Our pitchers threw strikes and that was the big thing,” said Beckstead.

In first game, Alex Severson, Kaden Monette and Zach Walz all avoided the big inning on the mound for Central, with Monette picking up the win.

And there was something to be said about Central’s defense, too.

“We made an error but we didn’t let it have a snowball effect,” said Beckstead.

That combination was enough to produce Central’s second and third wins of the season. But Davies, which dropped to 0-10, made the final two innings interesting.

The Eagles loaded the bases in the sixth without a hit, but Walz got out of the jam.

In the seventh, Davies’ Dillon Boe led off with a single to center and stole second. He advanced to third on a wild pitch with two out, but Walz got an infield out to end the game.

Davies took a 2-1 lead in the third on RBIs from Andrew Lein and Alex Kruger. The Knights scored two runs in the bottom of the inning on an infield single from Walz and on a double steal, with Cole Kirchoffner taking home.

Davies tied the game on Carter Sanden’s RBI single to right in the fifth but the Knights picked up the game-winner in the bottom of the inning when Walz plated Kirchoffner on a sacrifice bunt.

“We responded and didn’t quit,” said Beckstead.

Alex Steffen, Boe and Cody Frey each had two hits for the Eagles.

“It was a good game,” said Davies coach Hans Anderson. “We made some mistakes and didn’t execute in some situations. Give them credit; they took advantage of those mistakes.”

FD 002 010 0–3 10 3

GFC 102 010 x–4 5 2

Birch and Hartness, Knight (4). Severson, Monette (5), Wald (6) and Binstock. W–Wald. L–pitcher (0-1).

FD 000 000 2–2 2 0

GFC 100 043 x–8 8 0

Lein, Sanden (5) and Hartness. Reller, Wald (7) and Binstock. W–Reller.. L–Lein (0-2).

Nelson is the sports editor for the Grand Forks Herald