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Trojans split doubleheader with Smoky Valley

Staff writer

The Hillsboro High School baseball team won the first game of their doubleheader Friday at Smoky Valley, 7-5, but lost decidedly in the second game, 11-5.

Jacob Edwards was the starting pitcher for the Trojans in the afternoon and looked to be cruising along with a 3-0 lead until the fourth inning. A hit, a walk, and an error loaded the basis for the Vikings with no outs. The Trojans were lucky to give up only three runs, leaving the score tied after the inning.

“What good pitchers can do,” coach Doug Dick said, “when one bad thing happens, is not let that carry over to the next batter.”

Two innings passed and the two teams traded runs to start the seventh at five all. Both teams stranded runners in the seventh inning to head to extras.

In the top of the eighth, Ben Gardner led off with a single between the Viking shortstop and third baseman. Jacob Fish walked to put runners on first and second with Edwards up to bat. The lefty hitter grounded to the Smoky Valley shortstop, who promptly flipped the ball to his up-the-middle counterpart. Edwards ran hard and avoided the double play to move Gardner to third.

Hillsboro catcher Aaron Bina then came to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to score Gardner, move Edwards to second, and give Hillsboro the lead.

“I’m prouder than heck of our guys for battling back,” Dick said.

After Edwards stole third, Derek Kelsey came to the dish and hit a single to bring Edwards home. It was Kelsey’s second hit in as many innings to make the score 7-5.

“He’s our leading hitter, average wise,” Dick said of Kelsey. “He’s such a good kid. He’s fun to coach. He does whatever you ask. You’d want to have a bunch of kids like him.”

The game was now in the hands of Kale Arnold who had held the Vikings over the course of the previous two innings. Arnold struck out the first batter of the inning and induced the second batter to hit a nubber in front of Bina for the second out. Arnold hit the next batter and a ball got away from the catcher to allow the runner to advance to second, but Arnold got the final Smoky Valley hitter to fly out to centerfield to win the game.

Arnold is now 3-0 on the season with a strike to ball ratio of 2-to-1.

“He’s throwing a lot of strikes. He’s hitting his spots,” Dick said. “The kid battles.”

The Trojans did not fare as well in their second game. Hillsboro gave up three runs in the first inning and the runs continued to mount until the Trojans were attempting to climb out of a 10-2 hole in the fifth inning.

Hillsboro did rally to get three runs back in the sixth and seventh, but the lead was insurmountable and the Trojans lost, 11-5.

Last modified April 21, 2010

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