The Hinckley Knights won a pair of games over the weekend, scoring 20 runs on 30 hits, to advance to the Region 1C Tournament August 5-6 and August 11-13 at Brennan Field in Hinckley. The Knights will be the top seed from the Eastern Minny League, and are schedule to play on Saturday and Sunday. The Knights captured the league's East Division playoff championship with wins over the Braham Snappers on Saturday and the Mora Blue Devils on Sunday.
On Saturday, the Knights had 17 hits in an 11-6 victory over Braham. The Knights scored first, on a pair of singles and an error. Braham tied it in the top of the second, but Hinckley added a pair in a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1. Hinckley's big inning came in the third. Doubles from right fielder Dylan Libra and first baseman Josh Norby brought in runs, as did RBI singles from four other hitters, widening the lead to 9-1. Braham got a run in the fourth, but the Knights got it right back to make it 10-2. Hinckley added its 11th run in the fifth, on a string of singles. The Snappers scored four in the top of the ninth, and the game ended 11-6. The game had several odd moments, including a Braham runner called out on appeal for missing a base, a Braham runner called out for interference for running into a Hinckley fielder trying to catch a popup, and a Braham batter called out for batting out of order.
Trevor Johnson went 3-6 with a double and 2 RBI. T.J. Johnson was 3-3 with two walks and a stolen base. Cody Dunkley was 3-5 with 2 RBI and a pair of stolen bases. Josh Norby was 2-5 with 2 RBI and Shawn Ausmus was 2-5. Bryce Norby, Libra, Keyan Weaver and Jordan Woods also contributed hits. Starting pitcher Shawn Ausmus went 7 innings and got the win, giving up just one earned run and recording 3 strikeouts. Reliever Josh Norby worked an inning and third, striking out three, and reliever Jordan Woods worked two-thirds of an inning.
On Sunday, the Knights had a 13-hit game, in a well-played 9-4 win over Mora. The Blue Devils started the scoring in the second with a pair of RBI singles, but the Knights responded with three run in the third, powered by three doubles, to make it 3-2. The Blue Devils tied the game 3-3, and the Knights regained the lead 5-3 in the sixth. Mora kept fighting back, getting a run in the sixth, but the Knights got another three in the eighth, with a string of hits. The Knights tacked on a run in the ninth to make the final 9-4.
Dylan Libra and Keyan Weaver led the offense for the Knights. Libra was 3-4 with a double and 3 RBI. Weaver was 3-5 with a stolen base and 2 RBI. Jarrod Brennan was 2-4 with a sacrifice. T.J. Johnson was 2-5 with a double, a stolen base and an RBI. Bryce Norby and Troy Jones each had a double and an RBI, and Josh Norby had a single. Hinckley had a solid game defensively, committing only one error in the field, and threw out a base runner in a rundown in the second innning. Starting pitcher Josh Thom went four innings, giving up just one earned run on five hits. Reliever Bryce Norby got the win, working five innings, giving up one run on three hits and striking out one.
For in-game updates during the tournament, follow @Region1C on Twitter, as well as @HinckleyKnights on Twitter and Facebook. You can link to complete tournament details, schedules and brackets through the Knights website hinckleyknights.com