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PaddleHeads Beat Hawks in Second Ever Game Decided by "Knock Out"

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021 Missoula, MT. - After coming away with victories in dominating fashion throughout the week against the Boise Hawks, the Missoula PaddleHeads would find themselves locked in a tight battle on Sunday. After falling behind 5-0 in the early going, Missoula would chip into the deficit as the

June 7, 2021

Missoula, MT. -

After coming away with victories in dominating fashion throughout the week against the Boise Hawks, the Missoula PaddleHeads would find themselves locked in a tight battle on Sunday. After falling behind 5-0 in the early going, Missoula would chip into the deficit as the game would go tying the game at six with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. The game would remain tied after nine innings of regulation which brought to fruition a new scenario that had never been seen in Missoula before. Per the new Pioneer League rules, the game would not be decided in extra innings, but in a home run 'Knock Out."

Two batters from both clubs stepped into the box looking to give their team a win. Christian Funk of the Hawks had the first shot at it, and failed to get a ball out of the park setting it up for outfielder Jared Akins of Missoula. After using four of his allowed five swings, Akins would come through launching a towing drive over the right field wall to give the PaddleHeads the victory.

This situation was a unique one for the fans, players, and everyone involved as Western Montana was able to witness these new Pioneer League rules in person for the first time. Akins enjoyed the moment, and was happy he could come through for the hometown fans.

"I figured when the game ended in a tie that I was going to get the call," Akins said. "I just needed to pull the ball over that right field fence. It was very new and fun. It was something that I have never been a part of, or thought could happen. Being a part of it was crazy. It was awesome to get the support of my teammates, and fans cheering me on."

The PaddleHeads put themselves in position to earn the win in the knockout be erasing an early deficit in innings five through seven. Missoula would score five unanswered runs over those innings. Akins would tie the game seventh on an infield single and would finish 1-for-3.

The work by the bullpen would also be an important factor after falling into the early hole. Over seven innings combined, the pen would only allow one run, on four hits. Matt Vonderschmidt stood out in 4 1/3 innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out four.