NACHES - Sunnyside Christian's baseball team only mustered a pair of hits in its season opener, a 12-0 loss, this past Monday. Yesterday afternoon, however, the 1B Knights combined for 13 base knocks in a non-league twin bill against the 1A Naches JV on the Rangers' home diamond.
That was the good news.
The bad news...Sunnyside Christian's varsity still came out on the losing end, dropping 8-1 and 12-7 decisions to the JV Rangers.
In Wednesday's opener, Naches simply outhit the visitors to claim the 8-1 victory. The Rangers thrust the sharpest dagger at the Knights in the bottom of the fourth, when they opened the frame with back-to-back doubles and a ringing triple.
The three extra-base hits ended up chasing Sunnyside Christian's ace hurler this season, Wyatt Hoff. He was replaced by Brant Bosma, who did a credible job of keeping Naches from scoring in the fifth and sixth innings.
The lone run the Knights pushed across the plate in the first game of the doubleheader came in the top of the sixth. Bosma singled his way aboard, stole second, then raced home on a Drew Puterbaugh single.
Puterbaugh ended up as the leading hitter for Sunnyside Christian in the opener, turning in a 3-for-3 performance at the dish, which included socking a double in the fourth frame. All told, the Knights managed six hits off the two pitchers Naches used in game one.
Game two was a different story, as the Knights committed four fielding errors that led to six unearned runs. Most of the miscues came on simple pop-ups or harmless grounders.
Offensively in the nightcap, Bosma was the team leader for the Knights. He rapped three hits in four trips to the dish. His biggest shot was an RBI triple in the top of the third, when Sunnyside Christian forged ahead of Naches by a 4-2 score.
The Rangers JV squad roared back with a four-spot in its home half of the third, though, then plated four more runs in the fourth to take control.
Sunnyside Christian made a last-ditch effort at getting back into the game in the top of the fifth. Trailing 10-4, the Knights loaded the bases. That brought Hoff to the plate, who delivered big time. He ripped a shot over the left fielder's head, clearing the bases with a triple to bring the Knights to within 10-7.
Naches accounted for the final 12-7 score by pushing two runs across in the bottom of the fifth.
Puterbaugh, who was 1-for-2 batting in the nightcap, finished the day with an overall plate performance of 4-for-5.
Brandon Moore, the Knights' starting pitcher, absorbed the loss in going two and a third innings on the mound. Bosma relieved him on the hill and yielded four runs in the fourth frame. Alex Brouwer pitched the fifth for Sunnyside Christian in a mop-up role.
The Knights baseball team (0-3) will get an opportunity to avenge its season opening 12-0 loss to Liberty Christian when the Patriots roll into Sunnyside next Tuesday for a single non-league game. Two days later, on Thursday, Sunnyside Christian will host the 2A Prosser JV for a doubleheader.