The Hillsboro varsity baseball team improved to 5-3 on the season with a 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Patriots on Tuesday. Christian Hancockpitched a terrific game, and Mark Moore hit a huge triple to help the team to victory.
The story of the game was Hancock as he pitched five innings of one run baseball. He allowed just four hits and struck out ten while walking just two. “Yeah, I felt pretty good,” he said after the game. “I focused on pounding the corners and let my defense behind me help. I’d throw fastballs and get ahead in the count, and then I could throw the fastball out of the zone, or throw a breaking pitch to try to force a swing.” Head coach Kevin Lucas was more than pleased. “Christian threw a great game against a pretty good team,” he said. “We knew coming in that they would be good, and Christian did a great job against them.”
The main problem was, Hillsboro’s offense couldn’t get the big hit through the first five innings. “We did a pretty good job at the plate by working counts and causing their pitcher to throw more pitches, because once we got to the bullpen, we were able to put some runs on the board,” Lucas said. Heading into the sixth inning, Hillsboro led just 2-1. But in the top of the sixth, the Hawks finally got things going.
Hancock led off the inning by reaching on an error, and then Hayden Voyles sacrificed Hancock over to third. Hancock would score, making it 3-1, when Isack Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly. So with two outs and the bases empty, Ethan Eckrich and Garrett Pinkley both walked. Grant Beckcame up next and drove a single to left, loading the bases for lead off hitter Moore. “I haven’t been hitting all that well lately, but I knew I was due for a good hit,” Moore admitted. “I’ve always been pretty good in those situations, and I trusted my ability and just swung at the first pitch.” Moore drove a “fastball, low and outside, right where I like it” to center field for a triple, clearing the bases, turning a 3-1 lead into a 6-1 advantage and giving the Hawks a much more comfortable position.
“We did a really good job of driving runners in from third, and we had struggled with that lately,” said Lucas. Moore, who said he is hoping the hit will provide him a chance to get hot again, led the team with two hits. Michael Brewer, Beck, Hamilton, Hancock, and Pinkley had one hit each in the seven hit attack.
Logan Warren pitched the sixth inning, and got one out in the seventh before Brewer came in to close it out.
Hillsboro now looks towards a big conference contest at home against DeSoto on Thursday. This is the first conference game for the Hawks. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.