The Hillsboro Hawks Varsity Baseball team took an early lead in the second game of a home-and-home series against Festus on Friday April 23rd, but could’t hold on, as they fell 15-4. Junior Arnold got the start on Friday and he went two innings, struck out two, giving up four hits and two walks. He was relieved by Ben Schamburg and Andrew Brody.
Arnold dug himself into a hole when he walked the first batter of the game and then hit the second batter, but two pop outs and a strikeout later, he got out of the jam unscathed. Zach Whaley led off the Hawks’ half of the first with a double to right field and scored on an error by the Tigers’ second baseman hit by Austin Romaine. This was the only lead Hillsboro saw in the game, as they ended the inning 1-0.
Then the Festus bats came alive in the second inning, scoring seven runs on four hits before the first out was made. Hillsboro shifted the momentum though and was able to stop the bleeding there, and entered the bottom of the second down 7-1. Then the Hawks showed that they were still in the game when Andrew Chaves roped a double to left center field. He moved to third on a ground ball hit by Jase Stewart, and came home on a single to right field from Cruz Valencia. Hillsboro was unable to continue the rally though, and ended the inning down 7-2.
The Hawks only gave up one run in the third on a fielder’s choice and entered their half of the inning down 8-2. They were able to cut the lead in half, thanks to Connor Jenkins starting a two-out rally with a single to left field. Romaine hit a ground-rule double down the right field line to move him to third, and Hillsboro capitalized on an error made by Festus’ left fielder to score both Jenkins and Romaine. The Hawks ended the inning behind 8-4.
Unfortunately, Festus would go on to score seven more unanswered runs throughout the rest of the game and Hillsboro fell 15-4.
“Our pitching wasn’t quite what it has been and Fesus did a great job of being patient [and] not swinging at bad pitches,” said Head Coach Kevin Lucas. “We didn’t make may adjustments at the plate and hit way too many easy fly balls.”
Walks and hit by pitches continue to be a problem for the Hawks. Of the 15 runs scored on them this game, eight reached base on a free pass, and five were scored on walks. There were bright spots in the game however, with Valencia going 2-3 at the plate and throwing out a runner heading for home in the fifth. Not to mention, the defense turning a 1-2-3 double play in the seventh.
Up next, Hillsboro faces Fox High School on Monday April 26th, and then has a home and home against Perryville on Thursday and Friday, April 29th & 30th.