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San Diego Knights
Britton Scheibe
Carlsbad, California

Welcome to the North County San Diego MABL (18+) page for the San Diego Knights. This page will be updated throughout the 2012 season. If you have any comments, questions, or are interested in playing this season, or next, E-Mail Us!


Summer 2012 Champions Cropped.jpg
San Diego Knights Summer 2012 Championship Team
Thursday, November 15
Knights Win Summer 2012 Wood Bat Championship

Standing: Ryan Martin, Takahiro Kikuchi, Sean Moran, Britton Scheibe, Mike Nerhus

Kneeling: Mike Scharbarth, John Wagner, Marco Hanlon, Liam Moran, Jacob Scheibe, Nick Nunez, James May

2012 Kick Off Classic Champions
Tuesday, March 13
San Diego Knights Capture 2012 MABL Kick Off Classic Championship

Standing: Alex Renteria, JJ Fisher, Sean Moran, Britton Scheibe, Dave Ebright, Ryan Martin, Bill Berman, Eric Bloom

Kneeling: Nick Nunez, Josh Stepner, Mike Scharbarth, Benn Bruff, Essex Burton, Jason Bendorf

Not Pictured: Pete Malloy, Brian Eastman, Aaron Kinard 

The San Diego Knights went to Las Vegas looking to repeat as champions of the MABL Kick Off Classic.  In 2011, the Knights went undefeated in winning the 35+ Wood National Championship.  In 2012, the Knights entered the 25+ Wood National Division hoping for a repeat performance.  It would be a daunting task as the five team field included the current 25+ National World Series Champions, So Cal Buzz, the current 18+ National World Series Champions, So Cal Snappers, the former 18+ World Series Champions, Brooklyn Sports Fever and the West Coast Bandits.

In game #1, the Knights played against the Brooklyn Sports Fever.  The Knights were a little short handed as a few players had yet to arrive.  Nonetheless, Dave Ebright took to the mound and cruised through the first 7 spots in the line up in order.  But in the top of the third, the wheels fell off and the Fever put up 8 runs, although only 4 were earned.  Not wanting to leave his pitcher hanging out to dry, manager Britton Scheibe made a pitching change and Josh Stepner and Bill Berman allowed another 6 runs (3 earned) over 4 1/3 innings.  When the dust had settled, the Fever came away with a 14-2 victory, putting the Knights in serious jeopardy after only one game of not making the play offs.  Offensively the Knights only managed 9 hits and two runs and were led by Aaron Kinard going 2-2 with a walk and an RBI.  Josh Stepner went 1-3 and drove in the other Knights run.

In game #2, the Knights faced the So Cal Snappers for the first time in their history.  This Orange County team has perenially been very strong and would provide the Knights a tough challenge in a near must win game.  The temperature at game time was in the high 40's with a cold wind blowing hard.  The Knights turned to pitcher Benn Bruff to try to get them back on track.  Essex Burton led off with an infield single, advanced to second on an error by the catcher, got moved to third on a groundout by Sean Moran, and scored on a groundout by Ryan Martin to take a 1-0 lead.  But the Snappers answered back with a run of their own in the 1st.  The Knights however put up 4 in the 2nd.  After a lead off walk by Britton Scheibe, Mike Scharbarth singled and Alex Renteria was hit by a pitch loading the bases with no outs.  After a strike out by Aaron Kinard, Brian Eastman came through with a 2 RBI single.  Nick Nunez then drew a walk and after a double steal, both came in to score on a 2 RBI single by Eric Bloom.  Just like that, the Knights were on top 5-1.  The Knights made it 6-1 in the 3rd when Sean Moran scored on Britton Scheibe's RBI single.  Benn Bruff was cruising along with the lead until the 5th.  After retiring 9 in a row, Bruff allowed a fly ball to center that was mishandled for an error.  A two out single scored both unearned runs and brought the lead to 6-3.  But that was all the scoring either team would manage the rest of the way and the Knights would come away with the 7 inning victory on time expiration.  Offensively the Knights were led by Essex Burton 2-3 with a 2B and run scored, and the two big 2 RBI singles by Eastman and Bloom.

After the 1st day of play, the Brooklyn Sports Fever sat atop the standings at 1-0-1 after tying the West Coast Bandits.  The So Cal Snappers, the So Cal Buzz and the San Diego Knights all were tied at 1-1, however the Knights were officially in 4th place by virtue of runs allowed.  The West Coast Bandits rounded out the standings at 0-1-1.  With only one pool play game remaining, the Knights would know their play off fate before taking the field on Sunday.  With the Bandits loss to the Snappers, the Knights knew they would be in the play offs and it was only a matter of seeding at this point.  The same could be said for Sunday afternoon opponent the So Cal Buzz.

In the 2011 MABL world series, the Knights and Buzz squared up in a simiilar circumstance.  The Knights came away that day with an 8-4 victory.  The result on this day was almost identical with the Knights coming up on top with an 8-5 win.  Knowing they would need to save some pitching, Jason Bendorf was only asked to go three innings.  It was a struggle as he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits and 7 walks.  But the Knights would pick him up on offense scoring one in the 1st and two more in the 3rd.  Sean Moran entered the game on the hill in the 4th and would pitch the rest of the way.  He scattered 4 hits over 4 innings, allowing only 1 unearned run across in the 6th.  The Knights were able to take the lead for good in the 5th thanks to three walks to Pete Malloy, Nick Nunez and one with the bases loaded to Essex Burton, plus a 2 run single by Sean Moran.  For good measure the Knights added on 2 more in the 6th on a walk to Josh Stepner and back to back doubles by Mike Scharbarth and Alex Renteria.  The Knights would finish pool play with the #2 seed and would play the So Cal Snappers in the semi finals that evening.  In game #3 the Knights were paced offensively by Essex Burton again, going 2-2 with a 2B, 3 RBI and run scored, Mike Scharbarth going 2-3 with a 2B and run, Eric Bloom going 2-3 and Nick Nunez going 0-0 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored.

Pete Malloy would face the So Cal Snappers in a rematch of game #2.  Again in the middle of things, Gas Burton led off with a walk, Sean Moran was hit by a pitch and Ryan Martin bunted them into scoring position.  The small ball worked as Josh Stepner grounded a run home and Britton Scheibe scored another after reaching on an error by the first baseman for a 2-0 lead.  Malloy didn't allow a hit till the 3rd, but it helped bring in an unearned run and cut the lead in half at 2-1.  In the bottom of the 3rd the Knights would strike again thanks to a lead off walk to Sean Moran and a single by Ryan Martin putting runners on the corners.  Josh Stepner crushed one to center that was caught for a Sac Fly and RBI.  Mike Scharbarth followed with a hit by pitch.  With Britton Scheibe running at first for Scharbarth, Ryan Martin stole third and the catcher opted to try to get Scheibe at 2nd.  After Scheibe stopped early to avoid a tag, Ryan Martin advanced home and on an errant throw to the plate Scheibe ended up at 3rd and would come around to score on Alex Renteria's RBI single.  The Knights led 5-1 after 3 full innings of play.  A 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 4th would open the door for more Knights offense in the bottom half of the inning.  A lead off walk to Nick Nunez, a sac bunt by Eric Bloom, back to back walks to Burton and Moran and a single by Ryan Martin led to 2 more runs and a 7-1 lead.  With the way Malloy was dealing, it was going to be tough for the Knights to be caught.  The Knights added on 2 more runs on 4 singles, including three back to back to back by Moran, Martin and Stepner.  Desparate to do something, the Snappers inserted their ace pitcher Jesse Smith, who they were hoping to save for the Championship game.  While he did prevent any further scoring from the Knights, the 9-1 lead proved insurmountable and the behind a complete game by Malloy, the Knights advanced to the championship game the next morning.  Offensively the Knights got 2 hits from JJ Fisher, Sean Moran reached base all 5 times up with 2 hits, 2 walks and a HBP, Ryan Martin went 3-3 including a BB and a sac bunt, Josh Stepner had 2 RBIs and Mike Scharbarth went 3-3 with a HBP.  Malloy only allowed 4 hits and 2 BB's over 8 innings pitched. 

The Knights had overcome a lot to reach this championship game.  Most assumed they would get a chance at redemption against Brooklyn on Monday morning.  However the So Cal Buzz shut out the Fever 6-0 in the other semi-final and the Knights would be the home team in the morning.  Rumor spread the they would be facing a lefty who was the winning pitcher in the World Series Championship game for the Buzz in October.

The next morning the Knights arrived ready to battle.  It had come to their attention through a facebook posting that Buzz starting pitcher Mike Kesten may not have played in any pool play games, making him an illegal player.  Armed with this info and Kesten's previous days airport posting at 4:28PM "Vegas for a day... we win tonight, im throwing championship game for the Vegas kick off classic ... Bring on the snappers!!  I AM the Self proclaimed "best Big game pitcher in California!" although many agree...#socalbuzzwinng" the Knights lodged a formal protest after the first batter.  The Buzz walked off the field after the umpire let them know and they were not happy about it.  The Knights were not looking for a forfeit win, only for the Buzz to insert a player who had appeared in a pool play game. Tournament director Tom Pendegrass arrived about 10 minutes later and demanded to see the Buzz scorebook from the previous games.  Sure enough, Kesten's name appeared hastily in the first game of the series against the Bandits.  Knowing that his name would likely show in the Bandits book as well, Knights manager Britton Scheibe made the decision to drop the protest and allow Kesten to pitch.  Even though the liklihood was very strong that Kesten only appeared in name and not in body in that game, Pendegrass wasn't going to allow the facebook evidence to sway his decision.  So be it, play ball.

Essex Burton had led off with a single before the protest was made.  After he swiped second, went to third on a groundout, he came home on a wild pitch for a 1-0 lead.  The Knights, being short on pitching themselves, turned to the previous days starter Jason Bendorf against this same team.  He only allowed a single through the first 6 batters and showed no signs of the control problems that plagued him the day before.  Obviously fired up about what transpired over the protest, the Knights came out swinging.  In the 3rd Nick Nunez hit a one out single, stole second and third and eventually came around to score on a two out throwing error.  That error opened the door to two more runs thanks to singles by Essex Burton and Ryan Martin.  The Knights led it 4-0 through 3 innings of play.  In the top of the 5th Bendorf started to tire.  After surrendering a lead off HR, and error and a couple singles brought in another run and cut the lead to 4-2, giving the Buzz some new hope.  He escaped from any further damage in the inning, but his day would come to an end.  Game #1 pitcher Dave Ebright was told the 6th inning was his.  But before that, the Knights still had their turn at bat in the 5th.  Alex Renteria was hit by a pitch.  JJ Fisher, not seeing the bunt sign, did not offer at it, and Renteria was picked off first by the Buzz cather.  Fisher then reached on an error by the second baseman.  Nick Nunez exectued a nice hit and run single, bringing Fisher around to third.  A stolen base by Nunez put two runners in scoring position with one out.  Kesten dug deep and got Eric Bloom swinging for the 2nd out, bringing up the key moment of the game.  Up next was Essex Burton, who was on fire for the tournament and already 2-2 on the day.  It was clear the manager was in favor of intentionally walking Burton.  Kesten was overheard saying he didn't agree.  After some more deliberation, Kesten made the decision, "F*CK IT" and decided to pitch to him.  On the first pitch "Gas" deliverd a 2 run, double over the left fielders head.  A comment from the Knights dugout about maybe not such a "big game pitcher afterall" prompted Kesten to hit Sean Moran with a pitch.  Ryan Martin drew a walk and after a double steal, Mike Scharbarth came through with another 2 out single.  Kesten threw his glove in the air, and looking toward his dugout asked "does anyone else want to play?"  With that he was done after 5 innings, down 9-2.  The Knights however were not done, and went on to increase the lead to 13-2.  Dave Ebright pitched 3 effective innnings in relief allowing no runs and Bill Berman closed it out and a zero in the 9th.  In all, the Knights had 14 hits, stole 15 bases and came through with clutch hit after clutch hit.  Offensively, Essex Burton went 3-4 with a 2B, 3 RBI, 5 SB's and 3 runs, Sean Moran scored twice and stole 3 bases, Ryan Martin went 2-3, Mike Scharbarth went 2-4 and Nick Nunez went 3-4 with 3 runs scored.

It was a great tournament and a great team effort.  For the 5 games, Essex Burton and Mike Scharbarth both hit .533 going 8-14. Ryan Martin (.438) and Nick Nunez (.417) also hit over .400.  Jason Bendorf started on back to back days and came away with the win in the Championship game.  The knights claimed win #300 and #301 in their 12 year history in the semi finals and finals. They came together and won as a team.  Hopefully the $750 tournament credit will be put to good use by coming back to AZ for the 2012 World Series and claiming a ring!  Great job to all the guys!  You all played great and it was a pleasure.

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