Bishop Verot's Four-Run Third Leads the Vikings to the Second Round

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BOX  |  PLAYS |  CUMULATIVE: Bishop Verot  |  Aquinas

CARY, N.C. -- Bishop Verot plated four runs in the top of the third inning, and Aidan Knaak tossed a gem for the complete-game 4-1 victory over Aquinas in the first round of the 2023 National High School Invitational (NHSI) presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

With the win, Bishop Verot (1-0) advances to face the winner of Blessed Trinity and Bishop Gorman on Thursday.

Knaak was stellar on the mound for the Vikings, striking out nine batters in his seven innings of one-run baseball. Offensively, Matthew Turner (2-for-3, RBI) and Owen Rardin (2-for-3) paced Bishop Verot with multiple hits on the day, while eight of the Viking hitters tallied a hit.

Owen Egan (2-for-3) accounted for half of the Aquinas hits, with Eric Bitonti (1-for-3, RBI) and Esteban Olazaba (1-for-2) tacking on the other two. However, Egan suffered the loss on the mound, giving up four earned runs in 3.0 innings and striking out four batters for the Falcons.


  • Bishop Verot’s Grayson Carpenter led off the game with a first-pitch single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. But Aquinas left fielder Esteben Olazaba ended the early threat, throwing out Carpenter at home to end the top of the first inning.
  • Aquinas starting pitcher Owen Egan surrendered four runs in the top of the third inning to the Vikings, courtesy of an RBI-single by Matthew Turner, an RBI-fielder’s choice by Jason Bello, an RBI-walk by Fidel Alviar, and a sac fly to center by Joey Lawson to put Bishop Verot up 4-0.
  • Joey Lawson crushed a double to right-center to lead off the top of the sixth inning for Bishop Verot, but Aquinas reliever Bradley Gilbert got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts.
  • Aidan Knaak gave up a leadoff single to Aquinas’ Esteben Olazaba in the bottom of the sixth inning but struck out back-to-back pinch hitters on six consecutive called strikes.
  • Aquinas’ Eric Bitonti laced a two-out double down the right-field line to score Esteben Olazaba to put the Falcons on the board in the top of the seventh, but still trailed the Vikings 4-1.
  • Bishop Verot loaded the bases in the top half of the seventh inning on reliever Josh Torres but a heads-up double play by Landon Young and Eric Bitonti kept the Falcons within three heading into the bottom half of the seventh.


  • Aidan Knaak (1-0) was dominant on the mount for Bishop Verot, tossing a complete game on day one of the NHSI. He struck out nine batters and surrendered just one walk and one earned run.
  • Aquinas starting pitcher Owen Egan (0-1) gave up four runs on five hits in his three innings of work. He struck out four batters in the loss.
  • Matthew Turner (2-for-3, RBI) and Owen Rardin (2-for-3) contributed multi-hit days for Bishop Verot, tallying four of the team’s nine hits.
  • Eight of the nine batters in the Bishop Verot lineup tallied hits on the day.
  • Owen Egan tallied half of the Aquinas hits on Wednesday, going 2-for-3. Eric Bitonti and Esteban Olazaba were the only other Falcons with a hit on the day.


  • Bishop Verot advances to the second round of the NHSI and will face the winner of Blessed Trinity and Bishop Gorman.
  • Aquinas will face the loser of Blessed Trinity and Bishop Gorman in a consolation game on Thursday.

All games of the 2023 NHSI will be streamed on USABaseball.TV and @USABaseballTV on YouTube.


Stay tuned with all of the action at the 2023 National High School Invitational by following @USABEvents on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Fans and media can use #NHSI23 in their posts.