POLAND — After a quiet first time through the order, Poland adjusted at the plate and made life difficult for Edward Little’s pitchers.

The Knights’ bats didn’t get one last chance to complete their rally, though, because the game was called after six innings due to darkness, and the Red Eddies escaped Poland with a 7-5 baseball victory Thursday.

The Eddies (3-0), who didn’t get to warm up before the game because of what head coach Dave Jordan called “bus situations,” nonetheless got going in the top of the first. Patrick Anthoine led off with a walk, Jack Keefe doubled two batters later, and both runners scored when Colin Merritt’s infield bouncer turned into a pair of errors.

Edward Little scored another run in the second to take a 3-0 lead, with Aiden Gonzalez leading off with a double and later scoring on Chase Martin’s two-out single.

“I thought our guys did a great job at just rolling with any circumstances, hopping right out here and playing,” Jordan said. “And then to get runs right off the bat was huge.”

Edward Little freshman starter Drew Smith didn’t allow any hits through the first eight batters he faced, working around a two-out walk in the first, but Poland’s No. 9 hitter Sam Paladino broke up the early no-hitter with a one-out single in the third.


“We talk a lot about trying to be tough outs, one through nine,” Knights coach Charlie Pray said. “And Sam’s doing a great job down there as a freshman putting the bat on the ball, and not letting people just sort of be like, ‘Oh, here’s the nine hitter.’ They really have to respect him down there.”

Poland (1-3) leadoff hitter Mitchell Bean followed with a single, and Paladino took advantage of a pair of errors on the play and came around to score. Two batters later, Dylan Sellinger and Brody Keefe hit consecutive RBI singles to tie the game 3-3.

“One of the things I was very happy with the team today is, when we did get behind, it wasn’t quiet in our dugout, it was, ‘We’re going to do this guys, let’s get back,’ and we did keep coming back on them,” Pray said.

Jordan praised Poland’s hitters for making an adjustment to go the other way with outside pitches — something Pray said he talked to his players about.

The Knights’ comeback didn’t curtail the Eddies’ momentum, however.

“We didn’t really think much of it, just, ‘Score more runs, score more runs, keep on putting runs on the board,’ and then that’s what we did,” Gonzalez said.


A three-run fourth inning by the Eddies against Brody Keefe — who relieved Sellinger as the Poland pitcher after two innings — began with a Gonzalez double. Two runs scored on a pair of wild pitches, and then a third when Jack Keefe connected for a sacrifice fly against his younger brother.

“They’re competitive. They’re great kids,” Jordan said of the Keefe brothers. “I guess today you would say Jack had the upper hand. … Brody’s a great competitor, he did a great job at the plate.”

Pray said he was glad that that there was an opportunity this year for the brothers to play against each other and for their family to be in attendance to see it.

Hunter Gibson replaced Brody Keefe on the mound after Jack Keefe’s sac fly. Gibson walked the first batter he faced to put two on, but induced a pop-up to end the threat.

Smith’s start ended two batters (who reached on a walk and a single) into the fourth, but Campbell Cassidy came in and, in Jordan’s words, shut the door. Cassidy struck out two batters and also induced a force-out at home to keep the Knights from scoring.

The Red Eddies scored their final run in the top of the fifth when Anthoine’s two-out single brought in Gonzalez.


Gonzalez then took over on the mound in the bottom of the fifth, and the left-hander got out of a two-on, two-out jam with a pickoff at first base.

“I noticed it was a on 0-2 count, and it was a good time to steal,” Gonzalez said. “I probably would have stolen in that situation, and I thought about the pickoff and it worked.”

Jordan called it a huge pickoff from a “headsy, smart baseball player that’s played a lot of ball.”

Gonzalez wasn’t able to finish off the Knights. He loaded the bases with one out in the sixth on a pair of walks sandwiched around a Paladino single, then was lifted for Jack Keefe. A passed ball and an error scored two runs, then Keefe got a putout on a comebacker and, after issuing a walk, he induced a pop-up from his brother to end the inning.

That’s when the umpires made the call that it was too dark to continuing playing. A steady rain throughout the game didn’t make matters any better.

“It’s very tough. But we got to talk to the kids, you know, ‘We can control what we can control,'” Pray said. “I thought we were doing well, we had some momentum there, but we can control what we can control and the umpires made their call.”

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