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Sunnyside Christian returns to diamond

RICHLAND - It's been nearly five years since Sunnyside Christian High School has fielded a baseball team, but the Knights are now back on the diamond.

Sunnyside Christian, under first-year coach and a veteran of the Sunnyside High School baseball program, Tyler Alseth, opened the 2012 spring season yesterday at Liberty Christian. The Knights, as might be expected, showed a bit of rust in getting their baseball program ramped back up.

In the end Tuesday afternoon, Liberty Christian took advantage of 11 walks and two hit-batters to claim a 17-2 non-league win against the visiting Knights. The Patriots also banged out nine hits off a trio of Sunnyside Christian hurlers. The game was called after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Sunnyside Christian, which came up with four hits of its own yesterday, plated its two runs in the fourth and fifth frames.

Brant Bosma got the fourth-inning rally started by drawing a walk. After Drew Puterbaugh, who along with teammate Brandon Moore had singles in the top of the first, got plunked with a pitch, Jackson Haak delivered by slapping an RBI single.

The Knights' second run of the game came in the fifth. Alex Brouwer singled his way aboard, stole second, then manufactured a score by advancing two bases on some sloppy fielding and a passed ball.

Pitching-wise for Sunnyside Christian, the sophomore Moore started atop the hill. He held the Patriots to a single run through the first two innings. In the bottom of the third, however, Moore yielded a single and several walks before getting lifted in favor of his older brother, senior Matt Moore. Liberty Christian went on to plate 10 runs in the frame to all but put the game away.

Alseth said the younger Moore, despite losing command of his pitches in the third inning, did a credible job atop the mound in the first two frames.

"Especially there in the first inning," said Alseth. "They loaded the bases on us, but we got out of it with a double play, when Brandon fielded a shot back to him, threw to home and then the catcher threw the batter out at first."

The older Moore went one and a third innings in relief, "...and he threw pretty well," said Alseth, likewise giving similar credit to the southpaw Bosma, who finished up the pitching chores in the shortened five-inning contest.

Sunnyside Christian returns to the diamond this coming Thursday with its home opener, a non-league doubleheader against the Naches Valley 'C' squad. Start time is 2:30 p.m.

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