The Hillsboro Hawks stretched their win streak to five games on Tuesday this week when they blasted North County 10-6. That win set them up for a double header on Saturday, which produced mixed results.
In the matinee they took on the Valle Catholic Warriors, who stung them with a 4-3 walk-off victory, but the Hawks bounced right back with a 16-7 blowout win over the Ste. Genevieve Dragons later in the day. They now sit at 9-3 on the season and have won five of their last six.
The game on Tuesday started out rocky with North County going up 3-0 in their half of the first, but Hillsboro answered back with two runs of their own. Zach Reynolds plated a pair with a single to left and got the first crooked number on the board.
Three innings later, the Hawks would make a statement. Still trailing bye one in the fourth, they unloaded for seven runs and took a mammoth lead that they would not relinquish. Most of the damage was done via walks and defensive miscues, but Hillsboro did manage to pick up three hits in the frame.
They added an insurance run in the fifth to go up 10-3, and despite allowing three runs in the top of the seventh, managed to hold on for the victory. Keynen Drury got the start and allowed three runs over four inning while fanning four. He gave way to Reynolds, who got touched for three runs (one earned) over two innings, but Dane Dickemann tossed a clean seventh to slam the door and pick up the save.
Reynolds led the way offensively with four RBI, while Gavin Hite and Drury each drove in a pair. The Hawks only had four hits in the game, but used patience at the plate and pounced when the Raiders struggled defensively.
That win bumped the streak to five and set up the Hawks to play the always-dangerous Warriors on Saturday. Hillsboro would have to travel for this one, but they appeared to be up to the task. Valle took a 1-0 lead in the second, but the Hawks battled back and managed to plate three runs in the fifth to take their own lead.
They strung together three consecutive singles and got a run on an error by the catcher before Kobe Stacy drove in two with a lined shot to right. That lead looked like it would hold until Valle pulled off some theatrics in the bottom of the seventh. They rallied for a run and then walked it off with a two-run homer to dash Hillsboro’s hopes and break the streak.
Dominic Sutton got the start, and fared well with 6.1 innings of two-run ball, but things just fell apart in the final inning. Still, it was a heck of an effort against a very potent Warriors offense.
That loss could have sunk the Hawks and shaken their resolve, but instead they turned vitriol into victory with a sensational effort later that day against Ste. Gen. In fact, they were so charged up they plated nine runs in the first two innings. The biggest highlight was a grand slam by Reynolds in the second inning to put the game out of reach early.
The Hawks put up a crooked number in four different innings, adding three in the fourth and four in the sixth, and had the offense humming in this one. The Dragons tried to breathe a little fire late in the game with four of their own in the sixth, but it was not nearly enough to realistically claw their way back into the game.
Hillsboro held on to win 16-7 and got back into the win column, acting like the loss to Valle never happened. Hite got the start and earned the victory despite pitching just 2.1 innings, but his bullpen backed him up and kept the Warriors at bay.
Reynolds was the offensive beacon once again, driving in five and going a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with three runs scored. Gunner Sutton had a big day as well with a 3-for-4 performance that featured three RBI, a run scored and a steal. Jaxon Day and Max Deranja each had two hits.
It’s no surprise that the Hawks are off to a good start this season, but I’m not sure if anyone saw this level of dominance coming. They look like a force to be reckoned with and will look to start another win streak next week when they take on Parkway North.