The Hillsboro freshman baseball team played a doubleheader at Jefferson on Wednesday. In the first game, the Hawks met Jefferson’s JV team and lost 4-1. The team rebounded in the second game, defeating the Blue Jays’ freshman/JV team, 8-6. Both games were scheduled five inning contests.
Against the Hawks’ JV team, freshman coach Joe Fehlker said his squad faced a challenge on the mound. “The first game we were a little flat. Jefferson’s pitcher was very good. He was throwing hard and had a good curveball.” The Hawks had eight strikeouts and managed just two hits.
Jefferson got three runs in the third, but the Hawks responded with their only run of the game in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Kaleb Spiller walked, and Chase Frank singled to right. Junior Arnold legged out an infield single, and when the first baseman made an error, Spiller scored to make it 3-1. Those two hits would be the only ones the Hawks could muster.
Cole Johnston started on the mound for the Hawks and threw a complete game. “I thought he threw really well,” said Fehlker. “He was keeping their hitters off-balance and inducing a lot of easy pop-ups and fly balls. We had one bad inning, and that ultimately cost us the game.” Johnston allowed seven hits and struck out five while walking just one.
In the second game of the day, Hillsboro fell behind 3-0, but a big second inning turned the game around. Cruz Valencia scored on a wild pitch and Andrew Brody stole home after both walked, and the Jays’ lead was cut to 3-2. Andrew Chaves and Frank both walked and came home on a double by Ben Schamburg as the Hawks took the lead. “I’m driving the ball into the outfield and forcing them to make plays,” Schamburg said. “I’m feeling really good.” The Hawks scored their final runs of the inning when Arnold walked with the bases loaded, and Valencia hit a sacrifice fly.
The Blue Jays tied it 6-6 in the top of the third, but the final two runs of the game would belong to the Hawks in the bottom of the inning. Chaves walked, and Frank singled, moving Chaves to third. Frank would steal second, and then third when Chaves stole home. With two outs, Tyler Watson delivered the final blow, a double to right field scoring Frank.
“We played much better in the second game,” Fehlker said. “Our baserunners were really aggressive, taking advantage of several passed balls and wild pitches. Andrew, Tyler, and Ben each recorded extra-base hits, and we were able to steal 11 bases on the day as well.”
Valencia started on the mound and went three innings. He allowed the six runs, but only one was earned. He gave up four hits, while striking out four and walking two. Schamburg did a nice job in relief for the last two innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out one. “I had a little bit of trouble with my control, but it was just fundamental things that I’m working on,” Schamburg pointed out.
Fehlker also mentioned that the defense was in top form. “In the top of the fifth, Brody made a diving catch at third base for the first out. After a runner reached base, Brody was able to catch a pop-up and quickly throw to Gavin Mahan at first base to get the double play and end the game.”
Hillsboro managed five hits with Schamburg going two-for-three with two RBI. Frank, Watson, and Brody had the other hits for the Hawks.
Hillsboro, now 10-6, was scheduled to play at Clayton today, but that was cancelled. Saturday, Hillsboro plays for the Windsor Tournament championship against Jackson. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.