The Hillsboro Hawks have found their groove and are blowing through their competition. This week they took down the Webster Groves Statesmen 3-1 on Monday and dusted the Window Owls 7-3 on Thursday and again on Friday 15-5. The wins upped their record to 17-4 on the season, making it seven consecutive victories, and earning them the 2023 Conference Championship.
The game against Webster was an old fashioned pitchers’ duel that lasted 10 innings. The Hawks were down 1-0 after the first inning, but were able to scratch out a run in the fifth on a Jaxin Patterson RBI single to keep the game alive.
The arms on the bump took over from there though, and the game remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the 10th inning. It was Patterson again who would ignite the rally as he led off the extra frame with a double. He would come around to score on another two-bagger by Keynen Drury before Canyon Stout blasted the third double of the inning for a 3-1 lead.
Zach Reynolds, who pitched three one-hit innings in relief wound up with the win. Samuel Wahl and Gavin Hite combine to complete the first seven innings and didn’t allow an earned run.
Next up was the first of a home-and-home series with Windsor. The Hawks took advantage of an error in the first to go up 1-0, but then opened up the game in the third with a four-spot. Drury drove in a pair with a line shot to center before Reynolds cranked a two-run homer to left to make it 5-0.
The Owls would get two runs back in the bottom of the third, but a Patterson double made it 6-2 in the fourth. An insurance run via sac fly in the seventh, courtesy of Drury gave the Hawks seven runs and they hung on to win 7-3.
Reynolds had the big stick with a 3-for-4 effort that featured a homer, a double and two RBI, but Drury and Patterson had big games as well. Drury drove in three, while Patterson went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of steals. Dominic Sutton had a nice game as well with three hits and three runs scored. He also picked up a four inning save to preserve the win for Drury. Combined they allowed three runs on five hits and fanned six.
The next game against the Owls was in Hillsboro, and it wasn’t nearly as close as the previous contest. The Hawks jumped out early with seven runs in the first two innings, and for the second straight game, Reynolds unloaded with a home run to left. Kobe Stacy then tripled to bring in two more before Cohen Linderer, Sutton and Patterson all barreled up to drive in runs.
That made it 7-1, but the Hawks were far from done. They tacked on six more in the third, with the big blow coming from a Sutton single with the bases loaded. Up 13-5 in the fifth, Hillsboro used RBI singles from Patterson and Drury to make it 15-5 and trigger the mercy rule before the inning even ended.
Sutton led the way offensively with three hits, three runs scored, three RBI and three stolen bases. Patterson drove in three as well and he, Stout, Hite and Stacy all had two hits. Linderer drove in a pair and swiped three bags.
Hite got the win on the mound despite allowing five runs (four earned) over 4.1 innings. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out three.
The Hawks are currently rolling, but they will face arguably their toughest test of the season next week when they take on the 16-2 Central Rebels out of Park Hills. One of these two red-hot teams will have to bend.