On Opening Day 2023, the Kingsmen traveled to Forest City to take on the Owls on Faith Night. Lefty Tyler Overholt got the start for the Kingsmen opposite John Jones for the Owls.
The first four innings were nothing short of a pitcher’s duel with both sides limiting baserunners and playing clean defense. Kingsmen shortstop Aidan Rice made a stellar play in the second, sliding to his right and throwing a one hopper dug out by first baseman Colin Pattesron to get the Owls’ runner by a step.
The Owls changed pitchers to begin the third, bringing in righty Kyle Murphy from Cleveland Community College. The Kingsmen were able to muster a walk from nine hitter Jack Davis, but otherwise went down quietly. In the bottom half of the inning, Overholt retired the leadoff hitter before allowing his first hit of the night to the Owls eighth hitter, Sam Yelton. After getting the second out of the inning, Overholt had Yelton picked at first but threw the ball away allowing the Owls’ outfielder to advance into scoring position. Yelton would be stranded after Overholt got the Owls’ leadoff man to flyout to end the threat.
To begin the fourth, Murphy retired the first two Kingsmen hitters before Gavin Troyer doubled to the wall in left and Ryan Fluharty walked. However, the Kingsmen failed to score as Murphy struck out Patterson to end the frame. Nick George started the bottom of the fourth for the Kingsmen and retired the side in short order.
The Kingsmen offense came alive in the top of the fifth. The Owls brought in side-armer Boone Carty to begin the inning who allowed the first two Kingsmen hitters to reach on hit-by-pitches. Rice then dropped a perfect bunt down the third base line leaving Carty with no options but to hold on to the ball. With the bases loaded, catcher Nick Solorzano dumped a bloop single into left to put the Kingsmen on the board first, 1-0. With the bases still loaded, Cam Troyer chopped a single into right plating another run. A walk, single and E8, and another hit-by-pitch would spell the end for Murphy, who allowed six runs to score while only retiring one batter.
The next pitcher for Forest City, Colton Huntt, entered with the bases loaded and walked Davis to make it a 7-0 ballgame. Five runs later, including a Solorzano two-run double, would cap a 12-run fifth inning for the Kingsmen.
After the long top half of the inning, George struggled with his command to begin the bottom of the fifth. The righty allowed the first two Owls to reach on walks, but settled down after a mound visit from Coach Joe Hudak. A deep flyout to right, another outstanding play from Rice at short diving to his right, and a second flyout to right would end the threat.
The 12-run fifth would prove to be too great of a mountain to climb for the Owls––especially with the way the Kingsmen were pitching. Matthew Gross came in to pitch the sixth for the Kingsmen and allowed one to score, but struck out three Owls in the inning. The final frame went to California University of Pennsylvania’s Justin Stewart, who finished the game off rather easily for the Kingsmen. The game ended in a 12-1 victory for the visiting Kingsmen.
Tomorrow evening, the Kingsmen will welcome the Carolina Disco Turkeys for their home opener. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm and will be played at York Comprehensive High School. Stay tuned for more Kingsmen Baseball news and updates.