Las Vegas Knights coach Gino DiMaria knew he had one of the youngest teams going into the American Legion Western Regional.
That lack of experience may have caught up to Bishop Gorman’s summer team Friday afternoon.
The Knights were eliminated after giving up eight extra-base hits in a 17-7 loss to Tucson (Ariz.) in eight innings in Boulder, Colo.
“I’m very proud of them,” DiMaria said. “They battled against some older teams and didn’t back down, so I applaud them. It was a learning experience. They came out here and did the best they could. I think it’s going to make these kids realize we’ve got to work even harder.”
The Knights never led on Friday and trailed 11-7 after seven innings before surrendering a six-run eighth.
The game was called due to the run rule after eight innings.
“Most of the teams we played had a lot of college kids,” DiMaria said. “We had two college kids, but their roles weren’t as big as what we’re seeing on the other teams. They’re young, but now they’ve got some experience against older competition.”
Jorel Hingada was 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs, and Myles Denson went 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Knights.
Parker Aquino gave up six runs, five earned, in 1 2/3 innings to pick up the loss. He was one of five pitchers for the Knights, who allowed 17 hits to Tucson.
“We struggled a little bit on the mound today and our timely hits just weren’t there,” DiMaria said. “They were tough to get out.”
Andres Hackman finished 4-for-6 with a home run and seven RBIs to lead Tucson, which scored in every inning except the fourth.
Trevelle Hill struck out four and walked five in 5 2/3 innings to earn the win.
“It’s been good competition for them (this week),” DiMaria said. “Did we come in expecting to win? Yeah. But it was rougher than we thought. It was a learning experience. We grew up and continued to fight.”
Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson.