Rocky Grove Hoping it Got Kinks Out of Its System in Loss to Clarion

| May 16, 2019


CLARION, Pa. (D9Sports) – If Wednesday’s cross-district game was meant as a tune-up for the Rocky Grove baseball team heading into Friday’s District 10 playoff opener against Maplewood, the Orioles better hope all the bugs were worked out.

(Photo of Rocky Grove freshman Travis Knupp, who pitched into the third inning Wednesday and also had a pair of RBIs. Photo by Christie Datko)

Clarion scored six times in the third and six more times in the fifth to beat the Orioles, 12-2 in five innings, in a game that meant much more to Clarion in terms of seeding for the District 9 playoffs than more Rocky Grove, which pitched a trio of freshman against the Bobcats.

Yet, it was obvious from the long talk that Rocky Grove manager Bill Wilson had with his club, which has won three straight District 10 title – one in Class 1A and the last two in Class 2A – and won the PIAA 2A title last year that the long-time Orioles skipper wasn’t happy with how his team performed against Clarion.

It wasn’t all bad, though, as the freshman hurlers – Travis Knupp, Eli Moreland and Reece Henderson – showed glimpses of what could be a solid rotation for Rocky Grove for years to come.

Knupp pitched retired six of the first eight batters he faced before running into difficulties in the third inning. His final line was 2 ⅓ innings pitched, five hits allowed, four runs, all earned, with two walks and a strikeout.

Moreland relieved him in a tight spot and almost got out of a tough jam before giving up a two-run single to Drew Wrhen and then having things catch up to him a bit. He lasted a ⅓ of an inning giving up two runs, both earned, on two hits and two hit batters while striking out one.

Henderson came in and got the Orioles out of the third-inning jam before throwing a scoreless fourth thanks in large part to a line drive back to the mound that he turned into a double play.

But like Knup, Henderson found some difficulty the second time around the order, and ended his day with 1 ⅔ innings pitched allowing six runs, five earned, on six hits and a walk.

Meanwhile, the Rocky Grove offense was fairly quiet most of the day, although the freshman Knupp came up with a bright spot in the fourth when his two-out single drove in Nick Sanner and Ryan Hanna with the only two runs of the game for the Orioles.

The loss dropped Rocky Grove to 10-8 on the season, but the good news for the Orioles is that Scott Perry is back in the lineup and could see time on the mound after suffering a lower-leg injury that kept him out for a couple of weeks.

Clarion, on the other hand, awaits to see where it will be seeded in the District 9 Class 1A bracket, which should be released sometime Thursday.

The Bobcats got a strong outing from Skylar Rhoades who went five innings allowing two runs, both earned, on five hits and a walk while striking out eight.

Rhoades was also 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Cal German went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs, Lake Staub was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, Nate Datko was 1-for-2 with two runs scored, Drew Wrhen was 1-for-2 with a run scored and two RBIs and Chase Kriebel was 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs.

CLARION 12, ROCKY GROVE 2, 5 INNINGS

Score by Innings

Rocky Grove 000 20 – 2
Clarion 006 06 – 12

ROCKY GROVE – 2

Seth Wilson cf 3000, Caden Toscano c 3000, Tyler Knupp ss 2000, Nick Sanner 2b/rf 2110, Scott Perry 1b 2010, Ryan Hanna 3b 2120, Travis Knupp p/2b 2012, Reece Henderson dh/p 2000, Eli Moreland rf/p 0000, James Ginnery lf 2000. Totals 20-2-5-2.

CLARION – 12

Skylar Rhoades p 4220, Cal German ss 3222, Lake Staub c 4022, Aidan Quinn cr 0100, Cole Slaugenhoup 3b 4110, Nate Datko cf 2210, Christian Simko lf 3010, Drew Wrhen 1b 2112, Breckin Rex pr 0100, Chase Kriebel rf 3122, Skyler Pastor dh 1111, Noah DiTullio 2b 0000. Totals 26-12-13-9.

LOB: Rocky Grove 3. Clarion 6. Errors: Rocky Grove 4. Clarion 1. 2B: Kriebel SB: German (3), Rhoades (2), Simko. CS: Tyler Knupp. DP: Rocky Grove 1 (Henderson to Hanna).

PITCHING

Rocky Grove

Travis Knupp 2 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HP
Eli Moreland ⅓ IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 HP
Reece Henderson 1 ⅔ IP 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HP
Totals: 4 ⅓ IP, 13 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HP

Clarion

Skylar Rhoades 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K


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