KNIGHTDALE — Millbrook dominated a short-handed Knightdale team in a doubleheader of five-inning games Monday.
A rainy Thursday forced the postponement of the teams’ originally scheduled game the week before to set up the abbreviated doubleheader.
The weather has made a typically trying summer schedule even more difficult for teams competing in the Central Carolina Scholastic Summer League this year.
“The weather, and you add the fact that in the summer you’ve got guys coming in and out on vacation every once in a while playing travel ball, it’s been really tough, which is why today was so good for us,” Millbrook coach Austin James said. “We had all of our guys here and those were by far the two most complete games we’ve played all summer.”
Knightdale started the first game with only eight players. A ninth showed up in the third inning, so the Knights were able to field a full team, but there were no substitutes available during the doubleheader on a steamy afternoon.
“That makes it tough to have nine, especially when you’re missing six quality players, but that’s no excuse,” Knightdale coach Will Patterson said. “The nine guys that we had here today were very capable; it’s just sometimes the ball doesn’t roll your way, and today (Millbrook) made some spectacular catches, and our timely hitting wasn’t timely enough.”
Millbrook junior Kyle Williamson got the 10-1 win in the first game, and Jackson Kaplan completed the sweep with a 6-0 shutout in the nightcap.
The wins brought the Mudcats back to .500 on the season as the team prepared for the remainder of a packed week that included two more make-up games and two regularly scheduled contests.
“That was two rising juniors who started both those games. That’s two guys who have never really pitched against varsity competition and both came out and did really well and both got wins,” James said. “And the bats came around today. We’ve been struggling to hit without a consistent lineup, so everything about today was pretty good.”
Leading the way at the plate in the second game was Shane O’Connell, who went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored.
Brian Miller also went 2-for-3 and led the team with three runs.
Knightdale’s Dylon Alexander drove in Grant Peters in the first game for the Knights’ only run of the evening.
In the second game, Alexander split time with Kyle Spear on the mound.
The loses dropped the Knights to 2-8.
“We’re really young, and our young players are starting to come into their own,” Patterson said. “There’s a lot of positives that our record doesn’t show, but for the most part I’m very pleased with how this upcoming season should go. We’ve made some improvements. We’ve made some steps back, but that’s what you get with a young team.”