ORANGE PARK – Despite not committing a single error in the game, the St. John’s Country Day Spartans could not stop the bulldozer offense the Oakleaf Knights packed up and used on them to deliver …
ORANGE PARK – Despite not committing a single error in the game, the St. John’s Country Day Spartans could not stop the bulldozer offense the Oakleaf Knights packed up and used on them to deliver a 16-3 blowout win for the Knights.
“Winning cures all” said Oakleaf Knights Head Coach Chris Lannom, who were coming off a district loss at home to Fleming Island. “We talk about it all the time. When you’re down, stuff isn’t going right, you win a ball game and you’re feeling a little better.”
The Knights took all of their frustrations out on the Spartans, putting three out of the park, on their way to a 16-3 five inning knockout as both teams wind up the regular season.
Things got going fast for Oakleaf as the team took off with two outs, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. After the Spartans went three up, three out, St. Johns had a flash of hope in the top of the second when they turned a second to first double play. The Spartans then turned around and hit into a double play of their own as the Knights threw ice water on the fire to cool the Spartans back off.
With visions of the Fleming Island game still fresh in their minds, the Knights drew their lances and attacked again.
“We got after it in practice,” said Lannom. “Got back to basics, went over what we are supposed to do, talked about our approach at hitting, making plays; because we obviously had a lot of errors the other night. Just talked about how to grind during the game and not take bad at-bats. Hopefully that works.”
Before the Spartans closed the inning, it was 6-0. With no offensive production in the bottom of the third, it was the Knights mounting back up for another charge. With an inning full of hits and an RBI home run from Josh Rivera, the top half of the fourth inning ended 12-0.
The Spartans finally got on the board with two runs, but it was all for not as Oakleaf put another four runs up to end the top half of the fifth inning, 16-2. Needing five runs just to keep the game alive, the Spartans overreached and had two outs before they could blink.
Conner Moore was the bright spot for the Spartans, sending one out of the park for the 16-3 score. The Spartans could do no more with the fiery Knights and would get shut down in five innings, 16-3.