The Hillsboro Hawks Varsity Baseball team could not contain Jackson’s offense, as they fell to the Indians 20-7 on Wednesday March 24th.
The game started off very promising for the Hawks, with Cruz Valencia drawing a leadoff walk and coming around to score on a Noah Shuman homer to left. Connor Jenkins then got in on the action with a deep center field triple, and scored on an Austin Romaine single up the middle. Hillsboro ended the top half up 3-0.
Andrew Chaves took the mound for the Hawks and began the bottom of the inning with a four pitch leadoff walk. After striking out the next batter, he gave up an RBI double. Chaves was not shaken however, and fanned the next two batters to end the inning 3-1. Unfortunately, this would be the only lead Hillsboro saw in the game.
The Hawks went quietly in the top of the second inning, and the Indians went on to score eight in their half. Most of that damage was self-inflicted, with six of those runs coming from baserunners who either walked or were hit by a pitch, only to be brought home by a homerun or a deep fly ball. This put the score at 9-3 Jackson entering the third.
The Hawks rallied in the third inning, scoring four of their own, kicked off by a double from Shuman. Jenkins and Romaine were hit by a pitch and walked, respectively, to load the bases for Andrew Brody, who manufactured a run with a single. The Indians walked in another run and kept the bases loaded for Junior Arnold who roped a ball down the right field line to score another run. Center Fielder Zach Whaley showed good discipline at the plate and also reached base on a walk to score the fourth and final run of the inning to make it 9-7. Sadly that was the final Hillsboro run of the game.
“[The game] was a tough one to say the least,” said Head Coach Kevin Lucas. “We came out of the gate looking pretty good. After giving up eight runs in the one inning, it was nice to see us respond by scoring four.”
The bottom frames of the third and fourth innings were more of the same from the Hawks pitching staff. Eight batters reached base on either a walk or a hit by pitch, and the Indians explosive bats brought them in.
Chaves allowed five runs and one hit while striking out three in his one and 1/3 innings. Micah Cook, Whaley, Brody, and Arnold contributed in relief.
Schuman went 2-3 at the plate and led the Hawks in hits, while Jenkins led on the field, making both of his put out attempts.
Lucas did see positives in the game, saying, “Our pitching wasn’t what we hoped, but it will get better. The zone was a little tight and when we made the adjustments they hit it pretty hard. Our approach at the plate was much better as a whole.”
Hillsboro heads to Parkway Central on Friday March 26th, before making their home opener against St. Clair on Wednesday March 31st.