The Hinckley Knights hosted the winless Chisago Lakes Bulldogs last night.
Hinckley came into this game riding a 5 game win streak and .5 game behind the Mora Blue Devils for first place in the Eastern Minny North division. Neither team got on the board in the first 2.5 innings. Knights starting pitcher, Ben Sickler, was a big reason why the Bulldogs had no success. He struck out 6 batters through three innings. The bottom of the 3rd saw the Knights bats come alive. Jacob Perrotti lead off with a base hit, then Max Sickler did the same. Noah Furcht would reach on an error but also drove in the first two runs of the game. Cory Schmidt would also reach base with a single, which later turned into a double and scored a run due to an error. The Bulldogs managed to grab the 2nd out of the inning from a grounder by Isaiah Hasz. But Trevor Johnson wasn't going to let the inning end so quickly. He also reached on a single but drove home two more runs to give the Knights a 5-0 lead.
After the 5 run inning, Hinckley would go on to score at least one run in the following three innings. One run in the 4th and 5th innings and two more in the 6th. As the top of the 7th innings came around the Knights built up a 9-0 lead. Ben Sicklers night ended with him pitching 6 shutout innings allowing just two hits and striking out 10 batters. Lucas Willis came in for him and pitched the final three innings. The Bulldogs did find some success off of Willis as they were able scored a run in the 7th and 8th innings. Chisago seemingly found a rhythm but it was too little too late. In the 9th, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with only one out and looked prime to make a comeback. But Willis denied them any chance at that as he struck out the next two batters to end the game 9-2. Willis allowed 5 hits in three innings but also fanned 3 batters.
The Knights improve to 11-4 on the season with the win and are now tied at the top of the North division with Mora. The Bulldogs are still searching for their first win.
The Knights will host their Hinckley Invitational Tournament this weekend starting on Friday night.