The Knights, participants in three championship games last year (Stan Musial Division II Championship, Cooperstown Tournament Final, Fall League Final) and winner of one (Cooperstown), played a spirited game but were done in by their defense, committing five errors.
The temperature reached 96 degrees in much of Long Island and NYC, but by gametime, the mercury struggled to reach 65 at Birchwood Park with clear skies and no humidity (and, as some Storm and Knights players observed, no gnats, who thankfully have decided to postpone their debut until later in the season.)
Billy Vogt (0-1), the first of three Knights pitchers to get two innings of work, took the loss. While he appears to have picked up where he left off from last year (2.80 ERA during the summer season, complete games victories in Cooperstown and Fall League semifinal) the Storm got him for two runs in the first and hold on the rest of the way.
Mike Urtnowski, returning to the Knights after a year off, slugged a 2 RBI double to lead the way offensively. Bobby Gruttadauria crushed a solo home run to get the Knights on the board.
The Knights actually out hit the Storm (5 hits to 4). But five Knights errors allowed six unearned runs, creating a deficit too difficult to overcome.
- The Knights have lost three of four opening day games. Obviously, it has not affected them much, as they have finished well over .500 each year.
- All Knights regulars have returned this year.
LP - Billy Vogt (0-1)
2B: Urtnowski, Mike (1); Bosch, John (1); Giglio, Frank (1);
HR: Gruttadauria, Bobby (1);
RBI: Urtnowski, Mike 2 (2); Gruttadauria, Bobby (1);
Knights Shut Out Phillies; Maier Sets Strikeout Record
Maier (1-0) allowed just three hits, and Mike Urtnowski pitched a 1-2-BB-3 seventh inning to complete the shutout.
Bobby Molinaro, who because of scheduling conflicts couldnít find his way into many of these columns last year, has now appeared in his second recap in two games, by virtue of driving in 2 runs and scoring another.
The Knights, whose defense failed them in their opener, did not commit an error. Molinaro made a great defensive play later in the game, charging a slow grounder and throwing across his body to nail the runner at first.
Frank Giglio and Billy Vogt each drove in a run, and Vogt had two singles in two at-bats.
SO! Your New York Knights have put their first tally in the win column. Join them this Thursday night (knight?) at 8PM for a rematch against the L.I. Storm. If Mamma Nature drops some of the wet stuff on Long Island tomorrow, then consider attending Friday eveningís 6PM game against the Brookhaven Yankees instead.
- Maier, by winning his first start, has as many wins as he had in the first 2/3rds of last summerís Stan Musial season - not because he pitched poorly last year (quite the opposite, actually), but because of the lack of run support afforded him.
- Knights pitchers have now struck out 21 batters in 13 innings. Fascist?
WP - Rob Maier (1-0)|
2B: Giglio, Frank (2);
RBI: Giglio, Frank (1); Molinaro, Bobby 2 (2); Vogt, Billy (1);