Van Epps Dominates Randolph in Kenyon-Wanamingo Win
The game was scheduled for Wanamingo, but was moved due to soggy conditions there. The Knights batted in the bottom of each inning, as the home team.
Randolph scored in the first inning when Brayden Olsen, sophomore, spanked a 1-1 count pitch to left field to start the game. Tayven Geiger, junior, executed a bunt to move Olsen to third base after a passed ball allowed Olsen to gain second base.
Evan Bennerotte hit the ball on a 0-2 count up the middle that Colton Steberg, junior shortstop nearly made a great play on, but was unable to field cleanly. Olsen scored.
Van Epps then locked in to strike out the next two batters.
In the bottom of the first inning after two fly outs against Bennerotte, starting pitcher for Randolph, Van Epps singled by hitting the first pitch.
Gunner Kennedy, sophomore, stroked a single jumping on the first pitch.
Cal Luebke, senior, gained the bases on a strikeout passed ball that scored a run.
Alex Lee, senior, hit a 1-0 count pitch for a 2 RBI single extending the lead to 3-1
All outs in the second inning were strikeouts by Van Epps with a walk sandwiched in.
The Knights #9 batter in the order, Reed Sommer, sophomore, hit a line drive to left resulting in an error. During a Colton Steberg, junior, at bat Sommer stole second and went to third base on a wild pitch.
Steberg singled to score Sommer. Steberg stole second and third base and was thrown out at home trying to score on a ball that got by Randolph catcher Geiger.
Van Epps continued his mastery by striking out batters for all three outs in the third inning. Bennerotte clubbed a single. stole second and went to third on a wild pitch in between the strikeouts.
In the top of the fourth inning, Lee walked to open the Kenyon-Wanamingo inning. Noah Wallaker, sophomore, executed a sacrifice bunt to get Lee to second base.
Lee stole third base before Owen Craig, sophomore, hit a fly ball to left field deep enough to score Lee and giver the Knights a 5-1 lead.
Van Epps struck out 8 of the first 13 batters he faced.
In the bottom of the 4th inning Randolph #5 batter Noah Girgen, freshman hit the first pitch for a single to right field. During a Tristan Zingler, freshman, at bat, Girgen stole second base. Zingler struck out.
Richard Olson, junior, hit the ball to the shortstop hole for a single. He would steal second placing runners at second and third. Van Epps struck out the #8 and #9 batters to end the inning.
Through the first four innings the Rockets would leave 5 runners on base, 4 in scoring position.
Olsen started the bottom of the fifth innning with a single to right field. Following a strikeout Bennerotte achieved an infield single when the ball was hit high on the infield and landed between the pitcher and first baseman.
Olsen and Bennerotte executed a double steal before a strikeout. A walk loaded the bases but a fly out to center would end the Randolph threat.
The Rockets would leave 8 runners, 6 in scoring position against Van Epps in his five innings on the hill.
Van Epps pitch count was at about 100 after five so enter Kennedy to pitch the sixth inning.
Meanwhile Bennerotte came out of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning after throwing 70 pitches, 41 strikes, with 2 strikeouts, 2 walks, 6 hits allowed, 5 runs, 1 earned.
Kennedy recorded an out to start the 6th inning. Then Kale Staub, junior, was walked on four pitches. Jameson Exley, freshman, hit a full count single to right field.
Olsen hit a 1 RBI double leaving runners at second and third base. Geiger hit a ball to shallow left field that was caught over the shoulder by Steberg resulting in run scored.
Olsen gained third base on a wild pitch and scored on a strikeout passed ball delivered to Bennerotte to make the score 5-4. Kennedy was replaced by Lee on the mound.
Lee got Ruben Kriesel, senior, to fly out to left field to end the Rockets threat.
Christian Newborg, junior, came into the game to pitch for Randolph in the fourth inning and did not allow a hit the rest of the way. There was only one base runner for Kenyon-Wanamingo.
Kennedy gained the bases on a two out error in the 5th inning..
Newborg would pitch to 8 batters, record two strikeouts, not allow a hit and issue no free passes.
In the top of the 7th inning Lee hit Girgen to start the inning placing the tyin run on base.
Girgen would gain second on a ground out and would remain there when the game ended due to fly outs by the #7 and #8 batters in the Rockets order.
Randolph would finish the game with 4 runs on 7 hits, commit 2 errors, leave 10 runners on base, 7 in scoring position.
Kenyon-Wanamingo had 5 runs on 6 hits, committed 2 errors and left 3 runners, 2 in scoring position.
Van Epps got the win, Lee the save for K-W. Bennerotte came into the game with opponents hitting .091 against him. He had allowed 7 hits in 21 innings pitched but all of the Knights hits were off the senior righty.
It was the third straight loss for Randolph.
The win keeps Kenyon-Wanamingo in first place tied with NRHEG and United South Central.
The Knights play the Panthers Friday and the Rebels Saturday, they control their destiny.
Other baseball scores Monday:
- Austin 3 Faribault 1
- Austin 3 Faribault 2
- Northfield 4 New Ulm 0
- Eastview 7 Apple Valley 2
- Farmington 1 Eagan 0
- Lakeville North 3 Rosemount 2
- Stewartville 5 Pine Island 0
- Lyle/Pacelli 10 St. Clair 0
- Triton 4 J-W-P 3
- Byron 6 Kasson-Mantorville 5
- United South Central 5 Hayfield 1
- Rochester Lourdes 7 Lake City 0
- Sleepy Eye 10 Mankato Loyola 0
- W-E-M at Medford Postponed
- Lakeville South 2 Burnsville 1
- Zumbrota-Mazeppa 3 Goodhue 2
- NRHEG 8 Maple River 1 at Alden-Conger
- St. Peter 6 Jordan 2
- Shakopee 7 Prior Lake 0
- New Prague 6 Tri-City United 1