The Union Knights used two big innings to put up a tough NICL win over NU High of Cedar Falls, 8-5, on the Knights' home field. Union scored first with a 3 run second inning. Chase Kruckemeyer hit a grounder that skipped past the third baseman. Hunter Zempel put down a perfect bunt advancing Kruckemeyer to second. A Garrett Prestemon double scored one, a Feldpouch triple off the fence scored a pair and the Knights had a 3-0 lead.
NU narrowed the lead 3-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the third on a pair of hits and a walk. Union put the game out of reach with a five run third inning. Five straight singles by Clark, Kruckemeyer, Zempel, Rottinghaus and Reiter pushed the Knight lead to 8-2.
But single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh pulled NU to within three runs at 8-5. Garrett Prestemon picked up the win, while Blake Clark picked up the save.
Dike-New Hartford 2
As they have done all season, the Knights started fast and then hung on for the win. This time it was a 3-2 win over Dike-NH on June 13.
Garrett Prestemon, as he has done so often, led off with a base hit. Driscol running for Prestemon scored on a Will Crees' ground ball. The Knights sent seven to the plate in the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. Hunter Zempel and Jake Reiter drew walks. Zempel scored on a Prestemon base hit. A ground ball by Feldpouch scored the final run.
Blake Clark was sharp on the mound and three runs would be all he would need. Clark had his fast ball hopping as he struck out twelve Dike batters. The sixth inning saw Clark pitch out of bases loaded by striking out the final two batters.
Dike went quietly in the second inning as Clark fanned two and got a easy ground ball. While Clark was handling the Dike bats, Cory Feldpouch was in charge of the Knights offense so he reached base all four times at the plate. Prestemon slapped a pair of hits, both coming at key times in the contest.
Wapsie Valley 4
For the fifth time this season, the Knights jumped out to a lead and then hung on for a win, this time it was a 5-4 win over Wapsie Valley. Will Crees and Brady Driscol teamed up to throw a three hitter, but wild spells by both pitchers kept them in hot waters all game long. They combined to walk nine batters. But both pitchers helped their own cause by pitching off five base runners.
The Knights scored three in the first and led 3-1 after two innings. Wapsie Valley scored a single run while Crees struggled with control. Driscol came in to start the fourth and Wapsie scored twice to tie the score at three all.
But the Knights regained the lead in the fourth when Zempel singled, stole second and third and came home on a sacrifice fly to center field.
Wapsie got a single run in the fifth to knot it at four all, but the Knights came right back when Feldpouch stroked a lead-off single, and scored on a Will Crees base hit. Zempel led the Knights' offense with a pair of hits and stole three bases on the night.
Driscol picked up the win with four innings of relief.
What started out as a promising beginning turned into bad news in the sixth inning for the Knights. After Blake Clark shut down the Jesup J-Hawks in the opening frame, Union scored two with Prestemon slapping the second pitch he saw for a double. He later scored on a Feldpouch single. The game stayed close until Jesup scored six times in the sixth, which proved too much for the Knights to overcome. Though Union scored three times in their final two plate appearances, the Knights could only close the gap to a final 9-5 score. Senior right hander Blake Clark took the loss, while striking out 8, giving up 7 hits and scattering 5 walks. Jake Reiter reached base three out of four times, while Prestemon also reached base three times. Hunter Zempel scored one and drove in a pair.
The Union Knights baseball team dropped their NICL conference opener, 8-4, to a very good Hudson Pirate nine. Hudson is picked to finish near the top of the NICl and features a line up with lofty batty averages and a great deal of power. Garrett Prestemon blanked the Pirates into the third inning, but true to form the Hudson bats broke loose in the fourth and fifth. Will Crees pitched the seventh inning, giving up the final two runs. Several innings saw Knight runners in scoring positions but Union was unable to get the big hit. Corey Feldpouch led the Knight hitting attack as he was on base four times.
The Union Knights found their offense early and often as they pounded A-P 19-6. For the second game in a row the bats were hot. Cory Feldpouch had a perfect day at the plate, collecting three doubles, a single, and they walked him in his fifth plate appearance. He scored all five times. The Knights are now 2-2 in NICL play.
The Union Knights won their first conference game of the young season, pounding a good Denver ball unit 11-1 in just five innings. Blake Clark was the Knight stopper as he shut down the Cyclones, giving up just three hits and one run, while striking out five. The bats finally came alive for the Knights as Cory Feldpouch went three for five. Jake Reiter also added a pair of hits.
Union opened its baseball season with a 4-1 loss to Gladbrook-Reinbeck. Blake Clark took the tough loss, allowing two earned runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out nine while going the distance. Offensively the Knights managed just four hits.
The following night Union hosted Oelwein in a doubleheader. Game one was another pitchers' battle, with Union coming up on the short end of the 4-2 score. Garrett Prestemon gave up just one earned run on six hits, four walks and four strikeouts. Will Crees, Blake Clark and Nick Peters each had two hits, while Justin Murphy and Nick Peters each drove in a run.
The nightcap saw Oelwein winning a 14-9 slugfest. Starting pitcher Nick Peters left the game in the first inning with a back injury. Cory Feldpouch came in to shut down the rally. An eight run 3rd inning spelled doom for Union as Oelwein jumped to a 14-3 lead. Union wasn't done though and pecked away for runs in the 4th through 7th. Justin Carey and Cory Feldpouch each had three hits. Bo Bader threw three innings of scoreless relief for Union.
The Knights opened conference play at NUHS on May 31 and stayed with the defending conference champs for four innings. Union scored first when Garrett Prestemon batted in Cory Feldpouch with a sac fly.In the second Hunter Zempel walked and scored on Trevor Rottinghaus' base hit. Feldpouch added a home run to his first inning triple to tie the score at 3-3. Hard hitting NUHS added four runs in the 4th, three in the 5th and four more in the 6th to coast to a 14-7 victory. In addition to Feldpouch's hits, Blake Clark went 3 for 4 and Jake Reiter had 2 RBI's. Clark took the loss for Union. The Knights are now 0-4 on the season.