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RC clutch with 2 outs in shutout of Waterford
Waterford-Ripon Christian baseball
Ripon Christian's Dustin Hoekstra was 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. GARY JENSEN/

For the Ripon Christian baseball team, two outs is the ready bell.

The Knights pushed seven across the plate Monday with two outs on the way to a 9-0 Southern League win over visiting Waterford.

“We had a ton of two-out RBIs,” Ripon Christian coach John de Visser said. “Those were real RBIs, they didn’t kick the ball around. And if the win wasn’t blowing in at 15 miles per hour, Eli (Terpsma) would have got his third home run of the year.

“We hit some balls hard today that were caught but all those two-out RBIs – that’s a good stat.”

The only runs the Knights (6-0 SL, 10-2 overall) did not score with two outs were the first two of the game in the first inning on a pair of botched third-base steals. When leadoff batter Grant Sonke (2 for 4, two RBI, double, two stolen bases) and Terpsma (double, RBI, stolen base) both stole third, the throws to get them sailed into left field and they scampered home for a 2-0 lead.

Ripon Christian totaled seven stolen bases.

“Base-running wise, we took advantage of some of the drops they had,” De Visser said. “We were able to take an extra 90 feet a bunch of times. That’s the one thing about this lineup. We can score three or four different ways if we have to. We can slug you, we can steal bags on you and haven’t even had to unleash our bunt offense yet.

“We just haven’t had the opportunity. Hopefully next week against some better teams we will.”

Micah English started on the hill started on the hill for the Knights, throwing five no-hit innings behind eight strikeouts with three walks and a hit batter. Micah De Jong mopped up with two perfect innings in relief, striking out three.

“The mindset starts early in the day,” English said, “I was thinking about firing it in there, being aggressive and throwing strikes.

“The defense played fantastic. They helped me out.”

Dustin Hoekstra (2 for 3, RBI, double, two stolen bases) knocked in the first two-out run for Ripon Christian, doubling in Cam Hoffman (two runs, two stolen bases) in the first inning.

“Starting a rally with two outs is very special,” Hoekstra said. “Nobody thinks you will score with two outs but once you start it keeps going.”

Although Sonke was just 2 for 4, he reached base four time thanks to a pair of errors by the Wildcats (2-10, 0-6). Sonke’s two stolen bases brings his total to 21, four short of the school record of 25.

“I just try and put the ball in play,” Sonke said. “I am the leadoff hitter and my job is to get on base no matter what it takes and then get knocked in.

“I try and take as many bases as I can to get into scoring position.”

The Knights had a pair of two-out, two-RBI doubles – one by Terpsma in the second inning that scored Andrew Clark (two runs) and Sonke and the other in the third inning that plated Clark and Ethan Reif (RBI).

Ripon Christian has not played a game since its 27-3 road thumping of Denair on Thursday, March 24.

“I don’t like taking that many days off without playing a game,” de Visser said. “It’s hard because all the guys got back from the school trip to Washington DC just the other day. “The first thing is it shows with the stick. Their pitcher was OK but we couldn’t make adjustments.

“We threw a combined no-hitter. (Shortstop) Eli (Terpsma) made some nice plays defensively. Eli made a great play early and second baseman (Hoffman) made four or five good plays and he made a tough play on a triangle play on the right side early.”

The Knights host Delhi today in a league game at 4 p.m.