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 Haase Fires No-Hitter, Belts Four Home Runs; Panther Team hits Seven Home Runs in Sweep of Wes-Del

May 7, 2008 - Knightstown senior Joe Haase continues to put up almost mind-boggling numbers.

The Purdue University-bound shortstop and pitcher slammed four more home runs Saturday, the second occasion he has gone downtown four times in a doubleheader this season, in leading the Panthers to a sweep over Wes-Del.

Haase hit two home runs in each game of the twinbill, a 10-0 and 16-2 sweep over the Warriors. Haase also drove in 12 runs in the doubleheader and pitched a no-hitter in the first game. His statistics for the day offensively included 5-of-8 hitting, five runs scored and 12 RBIs.

Just two weeks earlier, Haase had belted four home runs against Shenandoah. The sweep over the Warriors earned Knightstown an unbeaten White River Athletic Conference crown as the team swept four twinbills from the competition and finished with an 8-0 record.

In the first contest Haase just missed pitching a perfect game, walking one batter and striking out 16. It was his second no-hitter of the season. Haase held Blue River hitless on April 9, but uncorked a wild pitch that hit a batter to lose his perfect game on that day.

Saturday Haase was in complete charge of the Warrior lineup. In each of the first three innings he struck out two of the three batters, yielding two harmless ground balls to second baseman Brice Biehl and one to Chad Oakes at first base. Haase then struck out the Wes-Del side in both the fourth and fifth innings and had a perfect game at that point, fanning 12 of the 15 hitters he had faced.

Haase also pulled off an unusual stunt in the sixth and final frame. He struck out four batters in one inning. Warrior Brice Sipe opened the sixth inning by drawing a walk on four pitches and ruining Haase’s perfect game. The flame-throwing right-hander then struck out two straight Wes-Del players and got lead-off man Taylor Besser down 1-2 on the count. A swinging third strike didn’t end the game, however, because the sharp breaking ball was wide and went to the backstop, allowing Beeser to get on base despite striking out.

Haase then struck out the fourth man of the inning to bring a temporary end to Wes-Del’s suffering. The end was just temporary because after a 10-0 thrashing in the twinbill opener, the two teams would play again in roughly 30 minutes and it didn’t get any prettier for the Warriors.

Haase finished with six innings of work, 16 strikeouts and one walk. He was in such control of his pitches that just one Wes-Del player, Sipe, who walked, even drew three balls. Just five of the 20 Warrior batters saw two balls during an at-bat, and in the first five innings Haase threw just 54 pitches and 40 of those were for strikes.

The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the third when Knightstown struck for three quick runs and did it with a bang. Levi Blair drew a one-out walk, Biehl sacrificed him to second, and Haase unloaded for a towering two-run homer over the left-centerfield fence. Jordan Bearhope then followed that up by blasting a 1-1 pitch the same direction for a solo home run that spotted the Panthers to a 3-0 lead.

Knightstown came right back with five runs in the fourth inning when Haase went downtown again. The Panthers loaded the bases with Trey McColley, Travis Titus and Blair on board when Biehl ripped a double that sent two runners home. Haase then cracked a three-run homer deep over the left field fence that upped the lead to 8-0.

Knightstown added a run in the fifth when the left-handed hitting Oakes busted a solo home run into right-centerfield. The game ended in the sixth inning due to the 10-run rule when Biehl singled and scored on a hit by Haase.

Haase finished the game 3-for-4 with six RBI and two runs scored. Biehl had yet another solid outing with a 2-for-4, two-run and two-RBI game.

 

Haase finished an almost unbelievable day by slamming two more homers and driving in six more runners in the second game of the twinbill, a 16-2 shellacking of Wes-Del.

Bearhope, who has been the man of the hour during the five-game win streak, went the distance on the mound and held the Warriors in check until they managed two atta-boy runs in the last inning. He scattered five hits and struck out nine.

Haase went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and six RBIs. That gave him doubleheader numbers of 5-for-7 with five runs scored, four home runs and 12 runs batted in.

Blair hit safely his first three times to the plate and scored all three times. He singled in the first and third innings and slammed a two-run homer in the fourth. Biehl added to his staggering numbers as of late with two more hits and a pair of runs. Over the last five games, Biehl is 12-of-20 with 12 runs scored and 10 RBIs. The Panthers have two all-state candidates in Haase and Bearhope, but Biehl has making a statement of his own with clutch hitting.

After stumbling against larger school competition and suffering three straight losses, the Panthers have reeled off five consecutive wins and now stand 11-4 on the season. But it took the team a couple of innings to tee off against Warrior pitching in the second game.

Blair scored on a sacrifice fly by Haase in the first frame to make it 1-0, and after a scoreless second inning the Panthers opened the game up. Four runners crossed the plate in the third.

Blair singled and scored when Haase went downtown with his third homer of the day. Bearhope singled and scored on a base hit by Oakes. Trey McColley sent Oakes home with another single and it was 5-0.

Knightstown then blew the game open in the fourth inning with six runs, including a two-run homer by Blair. Wes-Del pitchers threw pretty much batting practice all day long for the Panthers, who as a team hit seven home runs (Haase had four, one each by Oakes, Bearhope and Blair) and had 22 hits.

The Panthers then got five more runs in the top of the fifth to take a 16-0 lead. Haase socked his fourth round-tripper of the day and Travis Titus had a couple of RBIs.

 

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