Kniskern, Costello Carry Pompano Beach Over NBP
For the second year in a row, Pompano Beach swept the season series against North Broward Prep, following a 4-1 victory Friday night. The win also helped the Tornadoes keep pace in 5A-14, as they moved into a tie for first place with Cardinal Gibbons, each with a 5-2 district record.
The reigning HSBN Player Of The Year, Trevor Kniskern, continued his dominance on the mound with a complete game performance in the big district win.
“They have a couple of guys that could swing it, but we went right after them with fastballs and luckily my off speed stuff was working today. It was a good team win,” Kniskern said.
North Broward Prep junior starter Anthony Tomczak kept his team in it in his five innings of work, but the Eagle bats couldn’t get much going offensively.
The Tornadoes (12-4) drew first blood in the top of the first. A lead-off walk to senior Mike Schuler followed by a single by senior Christopher Ajello set up first and third for Kniskern, who helped his own cause and drove in Schuler with a sacrifice fly.
The Eagles (12-6) punched back in the top of the second when junior Chase McBean smacked a home run over the center field fence to tie the game at one run each.
A fielding error allowed the Tornadoes to go back ahead. Senior Chase Costello reached on an error, and later scored on a wild pickoff throw that was then misplayed by the fielder, giving Pompano Beach a 2-1 lead.
“I thought we pitched well enough to win the game, but when we made some mistakes defensively today,” said Eagles manager Brian Campbell. “When you don’t string hits along and you make mistakes on the field, you’re not going to win baseball games against good teams. That’s the bottom line.”
The Tornadoes tacked on some insurance in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a two-out single by Kniskern, Castello hit a towering home run to left, his second of the year.
“My first two at-bats I was thinking too much at the plate, and that last at-bat I just wanted to swing hard and hoping the ball found the barrel, and it did,” Costello said about his approach.
That was more than enough for Kniskern, as he allowed no runs and only one hit after the second inning.
Both teams are back in district play next week. Those games play a huge role in seeding for the district tournament in a couple of weeks for both sides. Pompano Beach takes on Cardinal Gibbons and looks to take sole possession of first place in the 5A-14 district. North Broward Prep will try to bounce back against Somerset Academy and reclaim the third seed.
“Every district game is huge game in our district,” Tornadoes’ manager Joe Giummule said about next week’s matchup. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we have to come out and play well every time we take the field.”