Crestview shortstop Griffin Painter (11) turns a double play during a Division IV sectional championship game at New Bremen on Thursday night. The Knights advanced with a 5-3 victory. (Image courtesy of Wyatt Richardson)
Crestview shortstop Griffin Painter (11) turns a double play during a Division IV sectional championship game at New Bremen on Thursday night. The Knights advanced with a 5-3 victory. (Image courtesy of Wyatt Richardson)

NEW BREMEN — Crestview junior Brant Richardson was in command for six innings on Thursday night in the Knights’ Division IV sectional final game at New Bremen. Things got hairy in the seventh, as Richardson put two batters (walk and hit by pitch) on base and allowed two runs, but he and the Knights escaped with a 5-3 win to advance to district play.

Leading 5-1 entering the final half inning, Richardson took the mound aiming for the complete game. After a strikeout to open the frame, he walked a batter, then fanned one to move the Cardinals down to their final out. Another hit batter preceded two singles, and the Cardinals pulled within 5-3 with the tying run on base before Richardson induced a game-ending ground ball to seal the win.

He walked two, hit two batters and threw a wild pitch, but he also struck out seven Cardinals and limited New Bremen to six hits over his 98-pitch effort.

The Knights took command with a 3-run fourth inning against New Bremen starter Justin Tenkman. Leading 2-1 to begin the inning, the Knights’ rally was ignited by Charles Stefanek’s 1-out single to center field. After the speedy senior swiped second, Richardson’s ground ball resulted in an error, allowing Stefanek to score. Two batters later, Dylan Hicks stroked a 2-out, 2-run doubel to center field to make it 5-1.

Crestview’s first run of the game also scored on an error. Richardson led off the game with a single and stole second with two outs. Hicks then scorched a ground ball that went for an error, bringing Richardson home.

In the third, Brett Schumm worked a 1-out walk, and Caden Hurless singled before Hicks walked. Griffin Painter’s infield hit made it 2-0, Knights, but Tenkman worked free of any additional damage with a strikeout and a fly ball to end the inning.

New Bremen got a run back in the home half on a single, stolen base and 2-out single by Luke Vonderhaar.

The Knights will face Lincolnview at 7 p.m. on Wednsday evening at Coldwater in the Division IV district semifinals.