Ponies make it four in a row with Tri County title
WEST POINT — The contributions came from everywhere, from solid pitching to consistent hitting throughout the lineup.
The Wayne Ponies continued their dominance in the Tri County League with a solid overall effort Monday night in Timmerman Park, cranking out 12 hits and getting a three-hit, 12-strikeout performance from Brooks Kneifl to win their fourth straight league title with a 12-2 blowout of Oakland-Craig.
Fourth-seeded Oakland-Craig scored both of their runs with the help of Wayne errors, the first coming after a leadoff single and two errors gave the black-clad Oakland-Craig squad a 1-0 advantage.
It was all Wayne after that.
Wayne got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Toby Braun reached on an error and scored on a James Dorcey single, then took the lead for good with four in the second, thanks to an RBI single by Calvin Starzl and three straight RBI doubles by Tanner Walling, Braun and Kneifl.
“We do a lot of hitting in the winter months and that really carries over into the summer,” coach Zac Braun said after the win. “We’ve been able to hit with everybody and score a lot of runs, and we’re just a good-hitting team top to bottom.”
Wayne added three more runs in the third with an RBI single by Brandon Bartos and a two-run double by Walling.
Oakland-Craig picked up an unearned run in the fourth, and Wayne responded with three in the fifth on an RBI single by Bartos and a two-run single by Kneifl. Wayne ended the game in the sixth when Dylan Anderson reached on an error and scored on a single by pinch-hitter Cooper Zara.
Starzl’s bat came alive inthe finals as he had a single and double and scored three runs. Braun also singled and doubled and scored three times, Walling and Kneifl each had two hits and Anderson and Justin Sherman each scored twice.
Kneifl, who saw four innings of work in a semifinal win Saturday, went the distance and never got in trouble, allowing only three hits and one walk in six innings while striking out 12.
“He just throws strikes,” Braun said. “He threw tonight on short rest and threw the ball rally well. We have a lot of pitching depth on our team, and the only two runs he gave up were unearned on errors, so he did a great job tonight.”