In the opening round of the District Tournament, the Hillsboro Varsity Baseball team dominated their opponents, putting on a hitting clinic. The 12-0 win certainly felt good and got the Hawks fired up to take on crosstown rival Festus in the semifinal round. Unfortunately, Hillsboro’s momentum didn’t carry over, as their season came to a conclusion in a 7-1 loss to the Tigers.
Coming into the tournament, the Hillsboro squad knew that with only six wins, they’d get a low seed. Nonetheless, the Hawks were prepared for whatever challenge was presented. For game one of the week, the boys were paired against Farmington and feeling the win or go-home pressure, and the bats came to life.
Starting off the game with a three-run first inning set the tone. That would be more than enough hitting, but for good measure, Hillsboro tacked on a monster six-run fifth inning, and finished the job in the bottom of the sixth, adding three more to make it a 12-0 mercy-rule finish.
Doing the most damage offensively was Gavin Hite. He had an incredible two-hit night. The first was a two-run double, but he also delivered the final blow, a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the sixth, which ended the game. Teammate Jaxin Patterson also had an excellent day with two hits of his own, a single and double, and also drove in two runs. Matching Patterson with a two-hit, two-RBI night was Canyon Stout.
This was certainly Hite’s night. He also started the game on the mound, pitched six shutout innings, allowed only two hits and struck out five to get the complete-game victory.
However, the celebration was short-lived, as Hillsboro was then set to face the Festus Tigers. On Friday, May 20th, the season came to an end for the Hawks after a 7-1 loss. Festus wasted little time putting this one out of reach, as they rattled off six runs in the first inning. They’d go on to add one more in the fourth, as Hillsboro couldn’t come back from the deficit.
In fact, Hillsboro only managed three hits in the game. The biggest hit came off the bat of Thomas Foerster, who hit a solo shot in the top of the fifth inning. Keynen Drury and Hite had the other two hits, both singles.
The Hawks finished the season with a lowly 7-14 record, but there were some highlights. Leading his team with a .309 batting average coming from 17 hits was Andrew Brody, who also had the most RBIs with 11 and led the doubles category with five. Batting .292, Austin Romaine had 14 hits and a .500 slugging, as well as an incredible .985 OPS. Patterson also had a strong season, with 10 RBIs, a .472 SLG, and a .877 OPS.
On the mound, Kyle Turman pitched the most innings with 30, finishing with 2.33 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. He also struck out 14. In the strikeout category, Hite K’d 23 batters while finishing with a 1.20 WHIP, over 29 innings. Leading the team in ERA with a 1.88 mark was Zach Reynolds, who accomplished that in 22 innings. He also led the team with 30 strikeouts.
With the season now in the books, Hillsboro will look to rebound and come back better than before. The future, however, does look bright, as many young players in the system should be able to help replenish the program, and get the Hawks back to their winnings ways.