Proficient pitching has propelled the Newport Knights’ success during the 2018 baseball season.
The Knights, who are currently in first place in the always formidable KingCo 4A Conference, boast an overall record of 12-4.
Newport head coach Brad Files credits a trio of starting senior pitchers consisting of Alex Holden, Eric Shinjo and Michael Haynes for his team’s early season dominance.
“Our pitching staff has really carried us. We’ve got three seniors on the mound with experience. They aren’t necessarily the hardest throwers in the world but they are very good at what they do. They are pounding the strike zone and are eliminating their walks. In our league (KingCo 4A), if you walk a lot of guys you are going to lose,” Files explained. “Offensively we have been kind of up and down. The top of the order has been very good but we’re trying to get the middle and the bottom of the order to get more consistent. That is the goal for the rest of the year. We’re going to need to get that offense rolling in the postseason.”
Files believes the 2018 Knights baseball team has the intangibles to make a memorable run deep into the postseason this May.
“This senior group is very special. As far as leadership goes they are right up there with the best teams that I have ever coached and I have been here since 1997. They are the whole deal. They come to practice with good intent, encourage each other and play well as a team together. It is a joy to come to practice, even on days like this,” Files said before practice kicked off under ominous rainclouds on April 16 in Factoria. “We will find a way to get some work done. It is very important that we stay on our game and don’t sit on laurels because if you do that in this league (KingCo 4A) it will get you in a hurry. There is no way we are thinking that it is a sure thing to even make the playoffs at this point. This league is very close and the games are very close. We’re just taking it one day at a time.”