Big inning gives Trojans victory in game 2
The Hillsboro High School Trojans baseball team split a doubleheader with Nickerson on Friday in Hillsboro.
In game one, starting pitcher Kale Arnold had a lead when he turned pitching over to the bullpen, but the team was unable to hold the lead. Nickerson took a lead, 11-6, in the top of the seventh inning.
The Trojans made the bottom of the seventh interesting, as Derek Kelsey started the inning with a single to center field. Aaron Bina took a walk before Nickerson switched pitchers. Pitcher Quintin Crandall proceeded to commit a balk, advancing the runners to second and third bases. Ben Gardner loaded the bases when he reached first on a dropped third strike.
Dylan Delk drove in Kelsey and Bina with a hit to centerfield, but the Trojans’ rally ended on two strikeouts and a groundout. Nickerson won game one, 11-8.
Delk was the starting pitcher for game two. The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Trojans batted all the way through their lineup in the bottom of the inning en route to a 5-1 lead.
Leadoff hitter Luke Moore began the inning with a single to right field. Kelsey grounded into a fielder’s choice and stole second before Bina hit an RBI double to deep center field. Ben Gardner hit a single, and Bina advanced to third base on the throw. Gardner then stole second base before Delk hit a two-RBI double down the left field line.
After a flyout by Lucas Sinclair, David Nelson was at bat when the Nickerson catcher threw the ball away after a called strike two, mistakenly believing it was strike three. Delk advanced to third base on the throw away, and Nelson ended the plate appearance with a walk. Arnold notched an RBI single to right field, and Matthew Martin hit an RBI single to centerfield to make the lead 5-1. The inning ended with leadoff hitter Moore flying out in his second at bat of the inning.
The Trojans didn’t allow any runs in the top of the second inning. Nickerson pitcher Sean Rodriguez beaned Kelsey to start the second inning. Kelsey then stole second base, but it didn’t matter as Aaron Bina hit a two-run homer to left center field.
Gardner reached base with a walk and stole second before Delk hit a flyout to right field. A walk by Sinclair was followed by a popout bunt by Nelson. Arnold hit an RBI single to drive Gardner home, but Arnold was tagged out trying to turn the hit into a double. After two innings, HHS led, 8-1.
Nickerson scored one run in both the third and fourth innings while the Trojans’ offense stalled. HHS scored again in the fifth inning. Freshman Jordan Faul began the inning with a single when the first baseman tried to tag him in front of the bag but dropped the ball. Faul then stole second base and scored on an RBI by Martin. The Trojans lead was 9-3 after five innings. Neither team scored in the sixth inning.
Delk began the seventh inning by forcing a groundout, but after Delk allowed successive hits, Sinclair took the mound.
Sinclair loaded the bases by walking the first batter he faced, but a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat prevented a run from scoring. Two runs scored on an error to cut the lead to 9-5, but a ground ball to second base ended the game in a Hillsboro victory.
After the game, Coach Doug Dick said he was happy to see the team scoring runs, but he wanted more consistency at the plate.
“We’ve got some guys that hit with power,” he said.
He was also pleased with the pitching efforts by Arnold and Delk, but the bullpen’s ball-to-strike ratio wasn’t where he would like it.
Next up for the Trojans is a doubleheader Friday at Kingman. In the meantime, Dick plans to work on pitching mechanics with his players.
Last modified April 7, 2011