Apr 16, 2024

⚾️ Knights and Bearcats Collide on Game of the Week

Posted Apr 16, 2024 7:40 PM

Lead Sportswriter - Salina Post

Salina Regional Orthopedic & Sports Medicine- Your home-field advantage starts here.
Salina Regional Orthopedic & Sports Medicine- Your home-field advantage starts here.

An all-NCAA showdown is brewing in Salina this evening as the 2nd-ranked and undefeated Sacred Heart baseball team prepares to host red-hot Ellsworth.

The Knights enter this two-game set at 10-0 overall and 4-0 in league play while the Bearcats come in at 7-1 and 3-1 respectively.

Sacred Heart swept this two-game set a season ago swiping wins of 17-7 and 19-10 in a pair of shootouts in Ellsworth, but the Bearcats will be eager to respond in kind to avoid falling behind in the brutally competitive NCAA.

“Our league is tough,” Sacred Heart head coach Dalton Dooley said. “Southeast always has a great team, Ellsworth has some good senior arms, and all around the league is tough which really helps prepare you for postseason play.”

For as good as the Knight’s lineup has been this season, racking up 124 runs in just ten games, its pitching, led by four senior returners in Cam Yohe, Evan Bogart, Jett Samuelson, and Cooper Ivey, has been even better, holding those same opponents to just 17 runs all year.

Ellsworth has also leaned on its pitching, holding its first eight opponents to 35 runs, while striking for 93 themselves for a +58 run differential.

“They’ve got some good pitchers coming back that we saw last year and I thought we did a good job to earn a few wins at their place,” Dooley said. “Good things will happen if we keep playing the way we’ve been playing.”

For the Knights, today’s doubleheader will give them an opportunity to take yet another step toward two team goals, as Sacred Heart looks to punch a ticket to state and win the NCAA outright for the first time in recent memory.

“We need to stay consistent,” he said. “We’ve gotta keep throwing strikes, backing up our pitchers, and keep improving our approach at the plate. If we get guys on base we’re going to score because we’ve got good speed and we can get guys moved around.”

First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 at James Matson Field in Salina, and both games will be broadcast with live audio and video on Salina Post.