A four-run fourth inning was enough to propel Knoxville over Independence in yesterday’s Class 3A state tournament first round 5-3. Knoxville scored first when Mike Jacks ripped an R-B-I triple to the left field wall scoring Cory Collins. Independence would tack on runs in the second and third to take a 3-1 lead setting the stage for the big inning for the Panthers. After Jacks struck out, Lance Daugherty hammered a double, Adam Theil singled in Daugherty to make it 3-2.
Kellen Glover ripped another double, then Jacob Cunningham smacked a double down the third base line to score a run, Justin Katich got an R-B-I single to round out the scoring to make it 5-3 which proved to be the final score, as Independence was held scoreless, being set down in order in the sixth and seventh innings. Assistant Coach Drew Leeper said while the defense struggled a bit with two early errors, the team had confidence that the offense would come alive. Eric Jones earned the win going the distance allowing three runs, scattering five hits, walking just one, and striking out five.
Knoxville is now 25-9 on the season and will take on Charles City who won a marathon 11 inning game over Storm Lake yesterday afternoon. You can hear the play-by-play of the class 3A semi-final Friday at noon on KNIA/KRLS. We will hit the air at 11:45 with the pregame show, following a special edition Marion County Midday Magazine at 11.