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Runnals tosses no-hitter to beat Sachems

JEFF RUNNALS fires a pitch during his no-hitter against Laconia on Friday, April 24. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
April 28, 2009
WOLFEBORO — Kingswood junior Jeff Runnals became the first Knight hurler in 10 years to throw a no-hitter, as he kept Laconia off the board on Friday, April 24.

The Knights scored the game's only two runs in the bottom of the first inning and Runnals did the rest, as he shut down the Sachems in order in five innings, walked only two batters and struck out 12.

Longtime coach Chip Skelley is pretty sure that it was the first no-hitter since the team's 1998 championship season.

"We really haven't had too many since I've been around," Skelley said. "No-hitters are hard to come by."

The Knight righty earned praise from Kennett coach Bob Burns for his great breaking pitch after he beat the Eagles in the season's first game and Skelley noted that this time out, his fastball was working too.

"That (breaking pitch) is his strength, but he was actually throwing his fastball quite well too," Skelley said.

Runnals was also named player of the week in a baseball newsletter published by Souhegan athletic director Bill Dod and sent to college coaches.

The Knights had seven hits on the afternoon, but couldn't get the big hit when they needed it most.

"I thought we would score more," Skelley said. "We had the bases loaded twice, we just didn't get the hit when we needed.

"Their kid (Zach Hamel) kept us off balance a bit," Skelley noted. "When we did hit it hard, they made the plays.

The Knights plated two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Jake DiPrizio got a base hit and one out later, Nate Gonya tripled to plate the first run. Slayd Dore followed with a base hit to drive in Gonya and the Knights had all the runs for the game.

Keith Therrien had two hits to help lead the Knight offense on the day.

Kingswood will be on the road on Friday, May 1, as the Knights travel to Oyster River for a 4:15 p.m. game. On Wednesday, May 6, the boys head to Concord to take on Bishop Brady at 4 p.m.

Martin Lord and Osman
Salmon Press
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