It was definitely a tale of two different teams as the Sunnyside Christian Knights varsity split a pair of games with the Sunnyside High School JV team this past Saturday.
The Knights lost the first game 9-6 before coming out and exploding for 11 runs in the second game to beat Sunnyside 11-4.
In the first game Aaron Van de Graaf was the starting pitcher. Van de Graaf lasted two innings before being pulled in the third with no outs and the bases loaded. Van de Graaf had hit a batter and walked two batters when Justin Burgers came on.
By the time Burgers got out of the inning the Grizzlies held a 9-1 lead. That's all they would need.
The Knights attempted a comeback in the fourth inning. Brandon De Vries singled to left field and then Luke Meininger singled. Jonathan Buescher then doubled to left field, scoring De Vries. Burgers then singled and this scored Buescher. Joey Higginbotham took a pitch and smacked it up the middle to bring Burgers home.
The three-run inning cut the Grizzlies lead to five runs. The Knights added two more runs in the top of the sixth but it was too late.
"They did a good job," SCHS Coach Jeff Bosma said of Sunnyside High School. "I thought Sunnyside did a good job of pitching and they played great defense. That made the difference."
Matt Haak went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases. Brandon De Vries hit 2-for-4 also. Justin Burgers was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Joey Higginbotham was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
In the second game John Bosma started on the mound for the Knights and he went the distance, getting his first complete game of the season.
Through seven innings Bosma gave up four hits, six walks, four runs and struck out six.
A shaky start led to two Grizzly runs in the first inning before the Knights exploded for six runs in the top of the second.
Meininger singled to start the inning and Buescher walked. Burgers reached first base on an error by Sunnyside's third baseman. Higginbotham then singled and this drove in Mieninger. Aaron Van de Graaf then singled to score Buescher.
Haak's single allowed Burgers to score and he was followed by Higgenbotham scoring on a fielder's choice off the bat of John Bosma. Jake Bosma also hit into a fielder's choice, allowing Van de Graaf to come home. The Knights added another run to take a 6-2 lead.
The Grizzlies would put up a run in the bottom of the second and the bottom of the fifth but the Knights would answer each time.
Van de Graaf was perfect at 4-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Higginbotham was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Haak went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
The Knights (2-2, 4-6) play Riverside Christian this Saturday, April 22, at 11 p.m. at YVCC field.