ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Lightning struck twice during the second game of the Hillsboro-Lyons doubleheader Friday in Lyons.
The first time occurred in the top of the sixth inning, when Hillsboro bolted for six runs to take a sudden 11-7 lead.
The second time occurred when Mother Nature flashed during the top of the seventh, forcing the suspension of the game and securing a 12-9 Trojan win.
Hillsboro won the first game in a breeze, 15-0.
Lyons jumped on Trojan starter Nathan Fish for seven runs in the second inning of the nightcap to take a 7-0 lead. With two outs in the inning, Layne Frick (1-1) relieved Fish, who was battling an injured hamstring.
Hillsboro responded with two runs in the top of the third on a two-run double by James Bina that scored Grant Brubacher and Dan Funk.
HHS added three runs in the fifth inning to close the gap to 7-5.
Hillsboro’s big sixth inning was fueled by three hits, three walks, a hit batter and three Lyons errors. The Trojans added a run in the top of the seventh before lightning ended the contest.
“We still aren’t hitting the ball very well,” said coach Phil Oelke. “Had it not been for their errors, we would have been in trouble.
“I do think we forced some of those errors with our base-running ability. Then we picked up the defensive end and turned some double plays when we needed to.”
In the opener, Metcalf (1-0) scattered four hits over five innings. The sophomore struck out five and walked two en route to his first shutout and first win of 2001.
“Jerod threw a heck of a ball game,” Oelke said. “The thing about Jerod is he’s either going to get pounded or put teams away. You can always guarantee he’s not going to walk many guys.”
The Trojans scored their 15 runs on only eight hits. Lyons pitchers issued 11 walks and the defense committed seven errors.
Bina’s two-run homer over the left field fence in the six-run fourth inning was the big blow. It was his second round-tripper of the season.
“These were two big wins, for certain,” Oelke said. “The last one was pretty fortunate; the first one we really stuck it to them.”
Nickerson-A salty Nickerson squad double-dashed Hillsboro’s dream of an unbeaten season with a twinbill sweep of the Trojans, 8-4 and 10-4, at Memorial Field April 3.
In the first game, Hillsboro led 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning when a single by Nathan Fish drove in Grant Brubacher, who walked to lead off the inning.
But the Panthers got to starter Layne Frick in the top of the second for five runs on three hits, three walks and two Trojan errors.
Hillsboro came back with single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings to pull to within one, 5-4.
The score remained 5-4 until the top of the seventh, when Nickerson roughed up reliever Jerod Metcalf with three runs on three hits and another Trojan error.
Hillsboro managed only seven hits in the game. Fish was a perfect 2-for-2 with two singles, a walk and was hit by a pitch. Jeremy Loewen went 2-for-4 and scored two runs.
Frick (0-1) went five full innings, giving up five runs, all earned, on eight hits. He struck out two but walked seven.
In the second game, Hillsboro scored first with a run in bottom of the first inning on James Bina’s sacrifice fly. The Panthers came back with two runs in the top of the second for a 2-1 lead.
After Hillsboro tied the game in the bottom of the second, Nickerson pounced on starter Dustin Jost for four runs on four hits in the top of the third to make the score 6-2.
Hillsboro scored a single run in the fourth to make the score 6-3, but the Panthers put the game away with one run in the fifth and three in the sixth to give the visitors a commanding 10-3 lead.
The Trojans managed a final run in the bottom of the seventh, but could close the gap no further.
Hillsboro managed just five hits in the second game, with no one getting more than one.
Jost gave up nine runs on eight hits and three walks in 51/3 innings and was tagged with the loss, his first of the season against two wins.
Only three of those nine runs were earned, though, thanks to five Trojan fielding errors.
Metcalf pitched the final 12/3 innings, giving up one earned run on one hit. He struck out one.
“I thought Nickerson did a great job of hitting the ball and defensively they’re a pretty solid team,” coach Phil Oelke said. “They didn’t have the errors that we did.
“We didn’t hit in either game,” he added. “We had some kids, I don’t know where their heads were at. The weather contributed to it a little bit, but some guys acted like they didn’t really want to be there.”
Coming-The Trojans were scheduled to play Moundridge Tuesday. They will host Smoky Valley on Thursday and then play at Inman the following Tuesday. All games are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.
JV vs. Moundridge- The Trojan junior varsity team defeated Moundridge, 20-6, Monday in Hillsboro. It was the first JV game of the season.
Jared Fish and Brandon Moss pitched for Hillsboro. Andy Brubacher went 2-for-3 and scored three runs while Jerod Metcalf was 2-for-2, scored three runs and drove in one.