Trojan baseball: Late-inning rally lifts Warriors over Trojans
If anything, the Hillsboro High School baseball team could chalk it up to revenge.
Nearly a month after sweeping the Warriors in Marion, HHS fell to MHS Thursday at home, 11-10 in nine innings, and 9-6.
In game one Hillsboro blew a 9-3 fifth-inning lead, and 10-6 seventh-inning lead, before falling in extras.
"We had to put them away, and we got lazy," HHS head coach Phil Oelke said of game one.
The Warriors scored three of their four runs in the seventh with two outs, and the Trojans failed to score in either of the extra innings, despite having runners on base.
"We just fell apart," Oelke said. "We just couldn't get it done."
At the start of game one they were getting done, jumping ahead 4-2 heading into the fourth.
In the bottom of the inning Isaac Leihy crushed a line drive to right field, that just missed the out-stretched glove of Corey Seacat, and rolled to the wall.
Leihy ended up with an inside-the-park grand slam, and the Trojans finished the inning up 8-2.
After Marion got one back in the fifth, Hillsboro used back-to-back triples from Daniel Jost and Leihy to stretch the lead to 9-3.
MHS came back with three in the sixth, and the Trojans tacked on one more after a Mitchell Koop single, and led 10-6 heading into the final inning.
Jost, the team's closer, came in with the bases loaded in the seventh, and one out, and allowed three inherited runners to score.
"It was a perfect example of the old adage, hitting is contagious," Oelke said.
The Warriors smacked the ball all around the park off Jost, Dylan Delk, and Leihy in the inning.
They pushed across a run in the top of seventh on a Brian Fruechting single, and failed to score with two runners on in the ninth, to fall to 9-6 on the season.
Oelke wasn't happy, but neither were the players.
"I didn't have to tell them anything, they knew," he said. "I tip my hat to Marion, they made plays late in the game."
Oelke said his team carried the game one loss with them like a batter carries a strikeout to his position out in the field.
"I wouldn't say they were pouting, but our youth has shown through at times," Oelke said.
The Trojans did have a 3-2 lead in the third inning of game two, but after four Marion runs in the fourth, the Warriors never relinquished the lead.
Leihy was 5-10 with seven RBIs in the two games, while Koop knocked in three runs in the two games combined.
Calvin Jeffrey hurt the Trojans by going 8-9 with two RBIs in the series.
"I told him after the game I was glad he was graduating," Oelke said.
As of now the Trojans are 9-7 and played a doubleheader Tuesday against Haven.
Results were not available at press time.
A split in that series would nearly guarantee a two or three seed in the regional tournament starting Monday at Marion.
Despite the losses to MHS, Oelke likes where his young team has ended up.
With a swirling wind Friday, the team had a light practice with a home run derby, and had a team dinner that night.
"We let our hair down a little and had some fun," Oelke said. "I don't think these are going to be losses that drag us down."