by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If only Bobby Thorson wasn’t able to throw a complete game and hit a grand slam on April 20, the Knights-Barbs clash on the diamond would have been much closer.
But the Knights were OK with not playing “what if,” instead it was “look what we can do” in a 10-2 handling of the visiting Class 3A runners-up DeKalb.
After a three-game solving of the Barbs, followed by a Tuesday win at Yorkville, the Knights were 11-4 with a 7-0 record in Northern Illinois Big XII conference play.
Thorson’s day on the mound was key to the winning formula in Maple Park, as he improved to 4-1 with eight strikeouts and no walks, while scattering six hits.
Thorson’s second inning grand slam as part of an eight-run inning highlighted a 3-for-3, six-RBI day. Thorson also had two doubles to his credit.
Kyle Davidson also went 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI. Cory Landers went 2-for-4.
Thorson clearly wasn’t done with his offensive good times, exhibited in Thursday’s 8-6 comeback win in Barb-land.
The Knights plated one run in the top of the second inning, thanks to a Quinn Buschbacher sacrifice fly. DeKalb came back with five runs off of North Central College-bound pitcher Drew French, and things held firm until the Barbs scored in the bottom of the six for a 6-1 lead.
The Knights showed a “never say die” attitude and put it into practice in the seventh.
Brian Dixon hit an RBI single to close within 6-4 after Sam Komel, French and Buschbacher had all scored.
Davidson single and Landers hit into a fielder’s choice. Joe Camiliere walked to load the bases and set the stage for Thorson’s left-centerfield bomb.
“I don’t even remember it,” Thorson said. “I hit the ball and all the emotion in the game just went through me. I think the end of the game shows what kind of team we really are.”
“We knew their pitcher was getting up in the pitch count. We were just waiting and waiting and waiting trying to make things happen,” coach Brian Aversa said.
Brian Van Bogaert picked up the win (1-0) with .2 innings of relief. Cody Varga of DeKalb pitched a complete game in the loss, at one point retiring 12 batters in a row.
Davidson shut the Barbs down in the seventh for his third save.
Saturday’s win over the Barbs featured three runs in the first, two in the second and six in the third to cap the five-inning win.
Komel improved to 3-1 and allowed only an unearned run. Landers went 2-for-3 with a double and two driven in, while Thorson’s three RBI gave him a prolific 13 for the series.
In the Tuesday win that took place in Kendall County, Thorson didn’t allow a hit after the first inning to the Foxes and fanned 11 hitters. He also led off the seventh inning and broke a 0-0 deadlock with a solo homer. Buschbacher also had an RBI double in the effort.
The Knights try to keep it at Elfstrom Stadium vs. Yorkville on Thursday, April 28.