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Knights lose to Crusaders in extra innings

The first four innings in Saturday's District game between the Sunnyside Christian Knights and the Riverside Christian Crusaders were going just the way the Knights hoped they would go. Then, the fourth inning ended and the fifth began.

Justin Burgers, pitching for the Knights, had shut out the Crusaders until then but with some good hitting, a couple of singles and a triple, Riverside scored four runs in the fifth to tie the game.

Then in the sixth inning, the Crusaders took the lead for the first time when they scored two runs on some errors by the Knights. Two fly-balls were dropped and a couple of errors got the credit for the two Riverside runs.

With the Knights down by two runs heading into the top of the seventh inning, they rallied.

Matt Haak got things started with a single. That was followed by John Bosma hitting a single to put men on first and second base. Jake Bosma came up and singled too, loading the bases.

That's when big Cole Van de Graaf came to the plate and calmly slapped a single up the middle to score Haak and John Bosma to tie the game at six.

The next hit would have loaded the bases when a Riverside player missed an opportunity at a flyball and dropped it. But, the umpire made a questionable call, invoking the infield fly rule and calling the SCHS player out. This crushed the Knights' momentum and Riverside was able to get two more outs to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh Riverside put its leadoff batter on to start the inning. The Knights got an out and then turned a beautiful double play to end the inning and send the game into extra innings.

In the eighth inning the Knights had their chances. With runners on second and third base with one out, the Knights couldn't produce a hit with some of their best hitters giving it a go.

"We had our opportunities," SCHS Coach Jeff Bosma said of last Saturday's playoff game, staged at the Sunnyside High School field. "All we needed was a clutch hit."

The Crusaders scored in the bottom of the eighth to win the game and end the Knights' season. SCHS finished the season with an overall record of 11-9.

Matt Haak went 2-for-4 in the game with two runs scored and an RBI. John Bosma was 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and one run scored. Cole Van de Graaf was 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs. Brandon DeVries finished with two RBIs and a home run.

"I thought this was the best game we played all year," Coach Bosma said. "It just wasn't enough. I'm really proud of the team. They had a great year."

At the end of the game John Bosma and Aaron Van de Graaf were named to the Greater Columbia B League all-opponent team and Coach Jeff Bosma was named Coach of the Year.

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