The Knoxville Baseball Squad took care of business and sent fans home early in a 10-0 win over Clarke ending the game due to the mercy rule in the 6th inning as heard live on 95.3 KNIA. After neither team could get runs across in the 1st, the Panthers onslaught began in the 2nd taking advantage of three errors by the Indians to gain a 3-0 lead. That is all pitcher Niko Lacona would need as he was brilliant on the mound going the distance and striking out nine including the side in the first two innings. Coach Turner Devore tells KNIA/KRLS Sports Lacona went the distance when he needed someone to respond.
Devore: “That’s really really big, and we don’t have a lot of guys available, and we needed someone to go 6-7 innings. We played up in the infield a little bit, which is something we don’t always do, but we wanted to take away that run if we could.”
Trenton Kingery went 2/3 with an RBI, Lacona also got a big hit when he ripped a double to break the game open in the 5th inning and helped himself out with two RBI. Knoxville is now 18-12 and 13-3 in the South Central Conference. Because of the Panthers’ win, they now will play Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont for the conference title in a doubleheader on Friday. The Rockets will come in 15-1 and the first game will be resumed in the top of the 2nd inning with the score tied at one. Should Knoxville win, the second game will be played, if EBF wins, the second game will not be played because the Rockets would have clinched the outright title. On the other side Panther Drive, the class 4A #12 softball squad was in a must win doubleheader with Clarke. The Panthers also took care of business sweeping the Indians 5-2 in game one and 5-1 in game two. Knoxville is now 17-7 and 7-3 in the South Central Conference. The Panthers will need to beat Chariton tonight, to set up a game with Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont to force a possible three way tie for the conference title next week