Knable’s slam caps Trojans’ mercy-rule victory

MOUNT UNION — Strong pitching and a good offensive showing led by Braylan Knable’s grand slam and Ian Brodbeck’s four RBIs carried Mount Union past rival Williamsburg in six innings in a 15-4 mercy rule victory in an Inter-County Conference baseball game on Tuesday.

Mount Union’s Cael Walter threw five innings of two-run baseball, limiting the Blue Pirates to six hits on the way to the victory. Cam Donaldson came on in relief, striking out two and walking one.

“I thought Cael did a super job in his first start in high school. He went out and did exactly what we wanted him to do — he threw strikes,” Trojans coach Tim Hicks said.

The Blue Pirates got on the board first in the top of the first inning when Colten Wagner singled to right field to score Rowan Gorsoch giving them a 1-0 lead.

The Trojans responded with five runs in the frame starting with a Donaldson double up the third-base line that drove home Bryce Danish. Brodbeck then took his turn at the plate with the bases loaded before hammering a triple to right that cleared the bases to give Mount Union a 4-1 lead. Klayton Willoughby grounded out to short to score Brodbeck for the Trojans fifth run.

The Trojans came back for more in the bottom of the second, exploding for six more runs. Donaldson singled to left to score Danish. Knable singled to left, scoring Donaldson before Tyler Renninger doubled to center to bring home Landon Chrisemer. Dayvon Wilson then came up to bat and singled to center to Brodbeck and later in the inning Cainen Atherton hit a Sacrifice fly to left to bring home Lear.

“I thought we swung at good pitches which is what we really try to get our guys to do,” Hicks said. “We were swinging at strikes, we hit the ball hard. I thought our offense did a great job at the beginning of the game. Eleven runs in two innings, we’’ll take that every game if we can get it.”

With such a big lead, Mount Union began subbing in some new players to give them a chance to play. However, the inexperience showed itself as defensive mistakes allowed Williamsburg to get some runs on the board.

It started in the top of the fourth inning when Wagner led off the inning with a single. Cayman Hughes then hit a grounder to third. Mount Union’s third baseman then rocketed a throw wide of the first baseman, allowing Wagner to score to cut the lead to 11-2.

Another error allowed the Blue Pirates to get even closer as Lambert Palmer jacked one to left field for a double scoring both Ty Clark and Luke Uplinger to make it 11-4.

“The guys are young, they’re all freshmen and a couple of sophomores so there’s a lot of inexperience,” Hicks said. “I do expect them to be ready to play and I don’t think they were. That’s something we have to address.”

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Trojans got the offense back on track as Ryan Plank hit a lead-off single before Je’Saun Robinson and Donaldson drew back to back walks setting the stage for Knable.

Down 0-2 in the count, Knable found the pitch he wanted and as soon as he made contact, there was no doubt about it as the ball sailed well over the left-field fence for a walk off grand slam to initiate the 10-run rule and end the game in six innings.

“He made a good swing, Braylan hits the ball hard and he got all of that one,” Hicks said.

Knable went 2-for-4 with five RBIs and was one of seven batters for Mount Union who had a multi-hit day as Danish, Donaldson, Renninger, Brodbeck, Lear and Plank all had two or more hits in the game. Brodbeck had four RBIs as well.

Mount Union improves to (8-2, 7-2 ICC) with the victory, the team’s fifth-consecutive win. The Trojans will travel to face Moshannon Valley on Thursday.

Mount Union 15, Williamsburg 4 (6 innings)

W 100 120 — 4 6 1

MU 560 004 —15 16 2

WP: Cael Walter. LP: Liam McGregor. SO: Walter 4, Cameron Donaldson 2 (MU); McGregor, Ty Clark (W). BB: Walter 2, Donaldson (MU); McGregor, Clark, Alex Brantner 2 (W). HR: Braylan Knable (MU). 3B: Ian Brodbeck (MU). 2B: Bryce Danish, Donaldson, Tyler Renninger, Brodbeck (MU); Lambert Palmer (W). MH: Danish 2-3, Donaldson 2-3, Knable 2-4, Renninger 2-2, Brodbeck 2-2, Vince Lear 2-2. Ryan Plank 2-2 (MU); Palmer 2-3, Colten Wagner 2-3 (W). RBI: Donaldson 2, Knable 5, Renninger, Brodbeck 4, Klayton Willoughby, Caleb Atherton (MU); Palmer 2, Wagner (W).