MOUNT VERNON — It’s not the way Mount Vernon Post 136 wanted to play going into the district tournament.
The Knox County Royals gave up 10 hits and nine walks on Wednesday to fall to Lancaster Post 11, 13-3, at home for the second straight day.
Combine that with the 13 hits and 11 walks given up Tuesday, and the Royals are headed in the wrong direction as the regular season wraps up.
“We have not played good baseball,” said Royals head coach Mike King. “I don’t know if the boys are tired or what. We just haven’t played well. Hopefully, we can get it turned around as we head to districts.”
Mount Vernon struggled on the mound as King wanted to save some of his best arms for Saturday’s district tournament. Tyler Berger started the game, allowing two hits and two earned runs in three-plus innings. Kory Shackle pitched two innings, allowing one earned run.
“We haven’t had good pitching,” said King. “We’ve made too many mistakes in the field, and our offense has gone in the tank. ... If we don’t turn things around, it’s going to be an early exit (at districts).”
Offensively, Mount Vernon simply couldn’t get anything going. Nick Hoar had two hits for the Royals, both coming with two outs and nobody on base. He ended up stranded both times. The high mark came on the team’s opening at-bat, when Shackle smashed a triple over the head of Lancaster’s center fielder. He scored on Alex Arck’s RBI groundout.
Shackle scored the Royals’ second run of the game in the third. After reaching second on an error by the second baseman, Shackle came in on a single by Ryan Goetzman.