The Hillsboro Hawks Freshmen Baseball team had a rough game to start their season, falling to Washington 10-4 on Tuesday March 23rd. There were bright spots in the Hawks first game however. Richard Wiethop, Sam Wahl, Gavin Hite, Max Deranja and Dom Sutton all recorded hits. Wahl also recorded five strikeouts in his two innings pitched in relief. Dan Dickermann pitched one inning and struck out three, and Wiethop and Hite both fanned two batters in two innings apiece.
Hillsboro gave up four runs in the first inning, and six in the second, but held Washington scoreless for the rest of the game. They attempted to chip away at the early lead with a run scored in the bottom of the first by Cohen Linderer, who reached base on a walk, was moved to second on a single struck by Sutton and then scored on a wild pitch.
The Hawks were quiet until the fifth where Logan Johnston walked, and went all the way to third on a dropped third strike that allowed Jack Prince to reach first. Wahl legged out an infield single to score Johnston before Prince scored on a wild pitch.
Hite ripped a single in the bottom of the seventh, and was moved to second on another single, this time hit by Deranja. Hite then stole third base and scored the final Hawk run on another wild pitch, but it was not enough as they ended up dropping the game 10-4.
The next game, this time against DeSmet, was a marked improvement as they went on to win. Hillsboro came out of the gate swinging with runs scored by Wiethop, Linderer, Hite and Johnston in the first inning in a parade of singles. The lead slipped away in the second and third, and the Hawks fell behind by one run in the top of the fourth, but the Spartans simply awoke a sleeping giant.
Sutton led off the fifth with a single ripped to left field followed by another single to the same spot by Hite. Deranja, Johnston, Prince, Hayden Hoskins, Wahl and Linderer all reached base and scored on walks, hit by pitches or errors… and just like that Sutton was back at the plate. He reached base on an error by the shortstop. Hite then cleared the loaded bases with a deep double to left center. He would then go on to score a run of his own on yet another wild pitch to bring the score to 14-8.
DeSmet chipped away at the lead, putting up four runs of their own in the sixth, but another run scored by Linderer in the bottom of the inning gave the Hawks just enough insurance to come up with their first win of the season by a score of 15-13.
The third game of the season was when Hillsboro really hit their groove. Wahl got the nod to start and threw an absolute gem, allowing no runs on three hits, two walks, and 10 strikeouts. The offense had a day of their own, putting up nine runs in the first two innings.
Wiethop led off the game with a single, stole second and then was knocked in on a single by Linderer. Hite ripped a single down the left field line and ended up scoring on an error. The Hawks exploded with two outs in the second inning, starting off with a dead center bomb dropped by Wiethop. Linderer hit another single and stole second before Sutton drove him in with a single of his own. Hite and Prince walked to load the bases, and Dickermann scored two of them with a deep single to left. Johnston doubled to clear the bases and then scored on a Caleb Quigley single.
The last two runs of the game were scored in the fourth when Dickermann drew a walk and Johnston drilled a triple to bring him home. He then went on to score a run of his own on a Quigley ground out.
When the dust settled, the Hawks walked away with an 11-0 win.
The final game of Hillsboro’s opening week against Union was a bit more of a challenge. After falling behind 3-0 in the first, the Hawks scored four runs in the top of the second, coming by way of a bases clearing double from Johnston and another double by Hoskins.
The score stayed the same until the fifth where Sutton scored on a sac fly hit by Hite. That lead was extended in the top of the seventh where insurance runs were scored by way of a double from Wiethrop, a triple by Linderer to score him and another double from Sutton which brought home Linderer. Hite and Deranja walked and were brought home on a Prince single and a Dickermann productive out.
The Hawks needed every one of those insurance runs as Union scored four more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Hillsboro took their foot off the gas and most of those runs reached base on walks or errors, and one on a passed ball. Luckily, the Hawks were able to end the inning and win the game 10-8.
Hillsboro’s future looks bright with this bunch. With a year of High School Baseball experience under their belts, the rest of the conference will need to be put on notice.