On Saturday night, the Kingsmen welcomed the Uwharrie Wampus Cats to York Comprehensive High School in what would be their final game in the Carolinas this summer. Entering the game with an 11-5 record, the Kingsmen were hoping to win their final game at home before leaving for their annual Dominican Republic missionary trip on Monday morning.
Mikah Conner started on the mound for the Kingsmen and, after running into early command trouble, struck out the side in the first. However, the Wampus Cats were able to push a run across the plate after shortstop Aidan Rice threw the ball away attempting to get a force out at third base.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Kingsmen did not record a hit, but scored twice in the inning to take the lead. After recording a quick first out, the Wampus Cats starting pitcher proceeded to walk the next five batters with two crossing the plate. A Ryan Fluharty double play would end the inning, but the damage was already done.
In the second, Conner was sharp to begin the inning, but left a fastball over the middle of the plate that was blasted to deep left to tie up the game. The Kingsmen would go down quietly in their half of the inning as the game moved to the third all knotted up at two.
The Wampus Cats would add another run in the top of the third on a hit, hit batsman, walk, and error, which spelled the end for Conner. Nick George entered for the Kingsmen in relief and struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning. In the bottom of the frame, the top of the Kingsmen lineup were retired 1-2-3 on three straight ground balls. Heading into the fourth, the Wampus Cats led 3-2.
The next inning and a half would be quiet for both teams, but the Kingsmen offense finally woke up in the bottom of the fifth. The bats picked up their first two hits of the night courtesy of Matthew Gross and Jack Austin, leading to men on the corners with just one out. A wild pitch would score Gross to tie up the game, but it would be the only run to score in the inning. Heading into the final two innings, the Kingsmen and Wampus Cats were all tied up.
George continued in the top of the sixth for the Kingsmen and pitched another quiet inning, allowing a soft infield hit and striking out two. In the bottom half of the inning, the Kingsmen sent 2-3-4 to the plate looking to get at least one to capture the lead. They would score more than just one, crossing the plate four times in the inning.
Rice led off the frame with a walk and, after a wild pitch and a Cam Troyer groundout, scored the go-ahead run on an RBI double from Blake Bevis. The Kingsmen walked three more times in the inning and went station-to-station on the base paths following several more wild pitches. Entering the top of the seventh, the Kingsmen held a four run lead.
To finish off the Kingsmen’s home stand in the Carolinas, George pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to secure the 7-3 victory. With the win, the Kingsmen ended their American play at 12-5 and on a four game winning streak. The team will attend Elevation Church tomorrow morning before traveling to the Dominican Republic on Monday.
Stay tuned for more Kingsmen Baseball news and updates throughout their missionary trip.
Nick George Postgame Interview:
Coach Joe Hudak Postgame Interview: