RIPON — If one Vander Molen does not get you, the other will.
With two Ripon Christian runners on in the first inning and one out Friday, Gustine thought it best to pitch around Travis Vander Molen to get to Jadon Vander Molen. That turned out to not be so good of a choice.
Jadon Vander Molen laced a two-RBI single to score Connor McGovern and William Hoekstra. That proved to be all the Knights would need on the way to a 3-1 Southern League victory.
“Travis has been walked quite a few times this year,” Jadon Vander Molen said. “There were runners in scoring position and I was just trying to find a pitch to hit. I have been getting a lot of first-pitch fastballs right down the middle.
“I was trying to drive it back up the middle and find the grass in the outfield.”
Getting walked is nothing new for Travis Vander Molen.
“That was the second intentional walk this week,” Travis Vander Molen said. “It was kind of weird being in the first inning, but we’ll take it. We made it hurt.”
Ripon Christian (8-1 SL, 15-5 overall) added one more run in the first inning when Brian Thomas grounded out to first, plating Travis Vander Molen.
Travis Vander Molen went the distance on the hill for the Knights, allowing one unearned run while striking out nine and allowing three hits and walking two. Vander Molen also picked off a runner at second in the third inning.
“I couldn’t find my rhythm the first couple of innings,” Travis Vander Molen said. “Then I got comfortable with the fast ball and the curve and kept them off balance and the defense made a couple of good plays behind me too.
Jadon Vander Molen went 2 for 3 with two RBI. The last 11 batters Ripon Christian were retired in succession.
“It was a lot of excitement early and then it slowed down,” Knights coach John De Visser said. “You have to think about processes. You can’t focus on results – especially in baseball when you fail 70 percent of the time.”
The Redskins (6-4, 12-6) got their leadoff batter Jadin Silva on in the second inning via an error and he came around to score. After that frame Gustine did not get a runner past second.
“We just couldn’t get that timely hit,” Redskins coach Michael Mendonca said. “We have kind of been missing it all year. It will fall eventually.
“We played pretty clean today. The pitcher did a good job and let his defense work behind him.”