Knights beat Elmira, reach semifinals

GRANTS PASS — North Valley pitchers Austin Beard and Jacob Herklotz combined for a two-hit shutout and Joel Shippy provided the big bat as the Knights defeated Elmira 7-0 in the Class 4A state baseball quarterfinals at Agnew-Lytle Field Saturday.

North Valley (15-12), the Skyline Conference fourth-place team, will host Newport (20-3) in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Agnew-Lytle located in the Reinhart Volunteer Sports Park.

"Our pitchers had their number for sure," said North Valley coach Eric Werner. "For the most part, they were swinging late a lot. I don't think they were used to the speed of our pitchers."

Beard pitched 22/3-innings of hitless ball before getting into a jam in the third. Herklotz finished out the game, allowing two hits and striking out five.

Shippy, who led the conference with nine home runs, rapped three doubles and drove in four runs.

"(Shippy) was on fire today," said Werner. "He had one of his best days of the year."

The Knights took control with two runs in the first. Marco Garmendia reached on an error, Shippy hit an RBI double then scored on a fielder's choice.

North Valley added two more runs in the fifth when Shippy hit his second RBI double and Herklotz singled home the senior center fielder.

Shippy added a two-run double in North Valley's three-run sixth.

"We played really great ball," said Werner. "Our defense, without a doubt, was rock solid. When you play great defensive ball, your team feeds off of it."

Elmira 000 000 0 — 0 2 6

North Valley 200 023 x — 7 7 0

Keelar, Boggs (3) and Keegal; Beard, Herklotz (3) and Schmoll. W — Herklotz. L — Keelar. 2B — NV: Shippy 3.

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